© Ryan Cooke/Truro Daily News
Autumn Smiley takes the ball wide around a pair of Hants East defenders in Tuesday‚Äôs high school girls game. Smiley led the Cougars with three tries, en route to a 47-7 victory
TRURO ‚Äď The vast and winding trails of Victoria Park will be put to good use this weekend, as the 15th installment of the Victoria‚Äôs Secret Mountain Bike Race will take place on Sunday.
With more than 100 competitors expected to grace the trails, the race has become a mainstay of the Atlantic cycling community, said organizer Bruce Roberts.
Starting the event in 1999, Roberts wanted to bring an event to Truro to diversify the sporting scene.
‚ÄúThis is a hockey, baseball, football and soccer town,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúNot many people were getting involved with cycling, which is a really beautiful sport.‚ÄĚ
Ever since the race was started, each year has gotten bigger and bigger. Having the race early in the year is a big key to growing the event.
‚ÄúEveryone is chomping at the bit,‚ÄĚ Roberts said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs the first mountain bike race of the year, so everybody is anxious to get at it.‚ÄĚ
Roberts, co-owner of local cycling shop Hub Cycle, had been organizing bike races since before he started his business. He decided to use his passion and his sponsorship to bring a race to his favourite part of town.
‚ÄúVictoria Park is Truro‚Äôs little secret,‚ÄĚ he said, explaining the event‚Äôs quirky name. ‚ÄúNot many people know what‚Äôs up there. The bike trails and the beauty of our park‚Ä¶ It‚Äôs a gem of a park and you owe it to yourself to go.‚ÄĚ
The race draws in competitors from all over the Maritimes, from Cape Breton to New Brunswick. With various different categories, the event is tailored to any rider, whether a rookie or a pro. It is also open to children, who have their own category. The race regularly draws kids from the ages of three and up.
Things will get underway with the kids race, for ages 10 and under, at 11 a.m. All other categories will kick off at noon. For more information, contact the Hub Cycle at 897-2482.