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Bruce Roberts of Hub Cycle showed Brandon Curry, Alan Miner and André Landry around the course for the 2017 Victoria Park Mountain Bike Race.
©Jonathan Riley/Truro Daily News
TRURO, N.S. - Bruce Roberts has made a few changes to the Victoria Secret’s Mountain Bike Race he hopes will make it more enjoyable for riders and spectators alike.
This is the 19th year for the race in Truro’s Victoria Park and with 160 riders last year Roberts says it was time to streamline a few things.
“Victoria Park is an amazing venue with a great variety of trails,” said Roberts. “Hosting it here is a great chance to showcase this wonderful park and bring a few people in town for a day or two.”
The biggest change is moving the start and finish, which have traditionally been in the lower park. This Sunday’s race will be held in the upper southern end of the park.
“This weekend looks to be a perfect example of why,” says Roberts. “The forecast is beautiful. People are going to want to get out and use the park, and walk to the waterfalls – so from a safety point of view and to relieve congestion, we’re going to stay out of the lower park this year.”
Roberts says that makes the course a little shorter than normal – it’s different every year – with a little less climbing but he says it will still be an exciting race.
“There are still some really technical rooty rocky stretches where you want to have some good riding skills or you’re going to be all over the place,” he said.
The children’s races will be held as usual but also higher up in the park.
Roberts says the bikers alone – and they arrive early – usually fill the lower parking lot but this year those vehicles will be parked at the upper parking lots.
Also new this year, organizers are using electronic chip timing. A small device clips around the ankle of the rider to automatically record each of their times. At the end of the race, organizers simply print out the results saving a lot of headaches but also providing the racers with the results more quickly.
The chip timing means all competitors have to pre-register online.
Roberts hopes those two little changes don’t surprise too many riders.
“I know there are going to be cars roll into the lower parking lot Sunday morning because they just skimmed the directions and I know some people are going to show up expecting to register that morning but we think these changes will really improve everyone’s experience,” he said.
The organizers are doing the door prize draws in advance so riders can pick up their prizes as soon as they finish the race.
Robert says the race is a great spectator event drawing top riders from all across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Because the park’s trails dry out quicker than most venues, the Truro race is always the first mountain bike race on the Bicycle Nova Scotia series and riders are anxious to take part. Nova Scotia’s Canada Games team also uses the event as a selection race.
“Holding the race in town is also a great way to get exposure for this sport – we really encourage people to stake out a safe spot along the course and watch the action and see how fun it is.”
See bicycle.ns.ca for more info and to pre-register online.