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Race Report from Tuf Rack Ontario Cup Downhill #1 at Horseshoe Resort

May 28, 2012

Fast and dry conditions set the stage for the opening round of the 2012 Ontario Cup downhill series.  The race was held at Horseshoe Resort which is located just an hour north of Toronto in Barrie, Ontario.  Athletes charged to post the fastest time down a purpose-built track designed by the new series organizer, Tuf Rack.

After years of turning left down Horseshoe Valley Road, this was the sign we were all looking for


Racing downhill in Ontario is about making the most of what you have and with a mere 304 feet of vertical to work with, that is exactly what head course manager Shane Joachim did.  The course was well received by racers, parents, fans and the Ontario Cycling Association.  The track presented challenges for racers of all ability.  Line options were more subtle and the need for distinct A and B lines was negated.  Beginner riders were able to easily and safely navigate the course while advanced riders could link trail sections together, increasing speed where desired.   Features like the upper rock garden could be comfortably navigated by less experienced racers, or gapped by those who possessed the skill set to do so.  The loose, sand-based course settled in nicely over the weekend and as Terry Leimonis shouted out as one of the final racers came down during the race on Sunday: “It’s a track now!”.  Loose, almost beach-like conditions seen during Saturday’s practice developed into permanent ruts and exposed roots that will define this course as a staple on the circuit for years to come.

This new course was fast and flowy and the general consensus among riders was that the frontrunners would break the one minute mark.  Race winner Rob Fraser ( Lapierre POC ) crushed that barrier in a time of 56.990.  Kristen Courtney (AdrenalineRacer / ToWheels) took the top spot in the All Female category in a blistering time of 1:12.656.

Rob Fraser (Lapierre POC) gapping the 30 foot rock garden

This was the best track I’ve ridden this year and by far one of the coolest O-Cup tracks. The new organization surely knows how to put on a great event and taking the Elite Mens win was just the cherry on top of a fun filled weekend! – Rob Fraser ( Lapierre POC )


Kristen Courtney (AdrenalineRacer / ToWheels) airing out of the rock garden in the last woods

A fabulous new course at Horseshoe by Shane and the crew combined with super dry, dusty conditions led to a track unlike anything I’ve ever seen in Ontario before. Loose, sandy corners not being my forte, I scared myself with some big drifts on practice day and was struggling to get my speed back up on Sunday. The rain that was forecasted for Sunday was elusive and things only got driftier by the time race time rolled around. I had a decent start through the first rock garden and berm, but then made an error in the off-camber and found myself struggling to get re-clipped and started again through the s-turns. On a 1-minute track, there’s no room for error, so I thought that had cost me the leader’s plate for sure. But, I pedalled the bottom section of the course as hard as I could to try and make up for it… In the end, it paid off and I managed to hang onto it – but just barely – with Tifenn 0.8 seconds back, and Jenn only 0.3 seconds behind her. I’m super stoked to see so many ladies out this year, and even more stoked to see them all stepping it up! Kristen Courtney (AdrenalineRacer / ToWheels)


The racing was exciting across all categories.  Adam Robbins (AdrenalineRacer / ToWheels), the future of our sport, took home the win in Miniee.  Colin MacIntosh (Eastside Cycle Racing) took the top spot away from reigning champ Derek Abrams for the first time in the highly competitive Master (30-39) category.  In his debut to racing the series, Tyler Skrinek (Bikezone Racing) won the Senior Sport (19-29) class.

It seems every year the 30+ Masters category gets faster, it’s a category of ex-pros , ex-senior experts, experienced masters with a mix of first time racers.  Everyone is great friends and enjoys the thrill of the race with a thirst still to win. This weekends course was an amazing course, super high speed with a great flow. On my race run I flew into that first berm loose and wild and know I was on a great run. I got unclipped at the step-up but hammered it back in on the landing. Cleaned up the 2nd wood section nicely and put everything into the sprint to the finish. When the dust settled from the 30+ Masters Colin MacIntosh came out on top with a smashing 1:01.835 for the win. Congrat to Colin on his first O-Cup win. Derek Abrams (AdrenalineRacer / ToWheels)

Some of the awesome hardware the racers got to take home this weekend


There were lots of new faces at the race and everyone was excited for what is shaping up to be an incredible season of racing downhill in Ontario.  Here are a few picture from the weekend of racing at Horseshoe.

Kristofer Evoy (Kamikaze Spider Riders)

Michael Hermanovsky (Silent Norco Racing) – step up out of the first woods

Chris Sinclair coming into the big bowl turn hot

Tyler Maass (AdrenalineRacer / ToWheels) laying it over out of the second woods

Christopher Born working the bottom half of the course to save any speed after a dropped chain during his run 

Sidney Slotegraaf (Lapierre POC) scrubbing out of the second woods. Easily the nicest guy on the circuit!

Brad Zdriluk (AdrenalineRacer / ToWheels) all smiles after a nasty fall with the finish line just seconds away


Riding Feels Good was stoked to be on site for this momentous first race with Tuf Rack at the helm.  Thank you to Jon, Shane, Claude and all of the crew at Tuf Rack who built the course and ran the race like clockwork.  Big thanks also to Chris, Swatty, Greg and Wyeth from the OCA who came out to help ensure this race ran smoothly.  We look forward to seeing everyone at Sir Sams.


Race results

Hard Tail (18 and Under)
Austin Floyd
Alex McArthur
Kevin Biggs (Kamikaze Spider Riders)

Hard Tail (19+)
Rob Fraser (Lapierre POC)
Jason Bayens
Peter-John Wegrynowski (Bikezone Racing)

Minime (13-14)
Adam Robbins (AdrenalineRacer / ToWheels)
Joshua Marangoni (Eastside Cycle Racing)
Kaleb Hellreich (Team Hardwood/Trek)

Cadet (15-16)
Isaac Marangoni (Eastside Cycle Racing)
Desmond Jones (Cycle Solutions)
Jake Bagdenow

All Female
Kristen Courtney (AdrenalineRacer / ToWheels)
Tifenn Vialatte (Impala Bicycles)
Jennifer Valentine (Kamikaze Spider Riders)

Junior Sport (17-18)
Oskar Andersen (Cycle Solutions)
Nicholas Dalla Lana (Cycle Solutions)
David Botero

Senior Sport (19-29)
Tyler Skrinek (Bikezone Racing)
Nick Outram (Eastside Cycle Racing)
Ryan Rutherford (Impala Bicycles)

Master (30-40)
Colin MacIntosh (Eastside Cycle Racing)
Derek Abraham (AdrenalineRacer / ToWheels)
Bradley Turner (Bikezone Racing)

Master (40+)
David Drenth
Greg Karges (AdrenalineRacer / ToWheels)
John Danyluk (Tuf Rack Racing)

Junior Expert (17-18)
Deven Chilton (AdrenalineRacer / ToWheels)
Patrick Gauci (AdrenalineRacer / ToWheels)
Radney Pritchard

Senior Expert (19-29)
Patrick McCarter (Primary Sweet Pete`s)
Rob Carmichael (Silent Norco Racing)
Craig Thompson (AdrenalineRacer / ToWheels)

Senior Elite (19+)
Rob Fraser (Lapierre POC)
Matt Zdriluk (Primary Sweet Pete`s)
Matthew Nielsen


For complete results can be found here:  http://www.ontariocycling.org/web_pages/results/20120528-022338-31-All-2012.htm#AF



Marc Landry is a Toronto, Ontario based action sports photographer. Honing his skills on local and World Cup cycling circuits, Marc has since expanded his subject matter to include several outdoor adventure sports. Marc is in his element when surrounded by the energy that top athletes radiate. The relationships he forms with his subjects is apparent in his images and is part of what defines his look. He is most at home in the mountains and his preference for long glass and elaborate lighting setups has become his signature style. Born and raised in Ottawa, Marc now lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter

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  1. Awesome article. So bummed I couldn’t line-up child care for Sunday 🙁

  2. It was an awesome weekend and you could not have put it better Marc. Can’t wait to see all the shots from the race and also can’t wait to see what sir sam’s has in store for us. Thanks again to everyone that was involved.

  3. Was there any dirt left on that lip after Sid scrubbed it? Awesome pics once again Marc! Sorry for spooking ya in my race run haha.

  4. It is a nasty scrub. No worries Mike, I must trust you, I never even flinched 🙂 Just glad your counter-steering skills are what they are!

  5. Pingback: O-Cup DH#1 Wrap up and DH#2 Pre-Reg | TufRack

  6. Good discussion in the forum with some of the more memorable moments from the weekend. http://www.ridingfeelsgood.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=36317&p=454925#p454925

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