The Tufrack Ontario Cup Downhill Series made its final stop for the Provincial Championships at Sir Sam’s Ski and Bike in Haliburton last weekend. This is the second straight year that Sir Sam’s has hosted the Provincial Champs, and the weather did not disappoint. Racers and spectators welcomed gorgeous, sunny, mid-twenty degree weather. Cool, foggy mornings kept the dust down and the track tacky until mid afternoon dry outs that kept riders on their toes.
The track for the weekend followed the same path as previous years, but the tough winter weather took its toll on the track turning a once fairly “bike parky” course into a more tricky, technical one. This however, had little effect on the speeds that were achieved by the riders, seeing race times about the same as in past years. Sir Sam’s course is a short one, with most times around a minute in length. This allowed for more of the incredibly tight racing that the Ontario series is known for. Minor mistakes took a major toll on your position on the results sheet, adding to the stress of an already stressful provincial final.
Silent Sports’ Taylor Rowlands came down with the fastest time of the day, winning the Elite Provincial Championship and with it the Ontario Cup overall as well. Michael Hermanovsky came down in second place less than a second behind Taylor, followed by Rob Carmichael, Matt Zdriluk and Joe Jenkins.
The Elite Men’s overall looks similar to the Provincial results, with the aforementioned Rowlands first, Hermo second, and Joe Jenkins gets credit for being consistent all season with a third place result. Fourth you’ll find Rob Carmichael, and fifth is the wild man Ken Brake.
Stoked to take the overall and provincials! Been a battle all year between me and Hermo and it was winner take all at this last race. It was an awesome year of racing and I want to thank everyone who made it happen! – Taylor Rowlands | Silent Norco Racing
Arianna Vegter continued her dominance of the All Female Category handily taking the Provincial win over Kristen Courtney and Paula Drozdzal who were less than a tenth apart in the fight for second spot on the box. Arianna was not able to take the overall victory though; her three-straight wins were not enough to match the consistency of Paula Drozdzal who reigned over Dianne McCullagh. Vegter would finish the season in third after missing the first race of the season.
“What a weekend! Great weather, great company, and a fantastic venue! It was interesting to see how the race course had evolved over the years, making it a new and exciting challenge for all competitors. As per usual it’s great to see all the ladies come out and lay down some competitive times! Shout out to Jon Anderson for hosting yet another amazing weekend! I’m still smiling!” Arianna Vegter | Primary – Sweet Pete’s
Other results of note from the Provincial Final include Adam Robbins’ return to the O-Cup series’ Cadet class after racing across the country and over the border. Robbins took the win with the third fastest time of the day. Kaleb Hellreich didn’t let Adam steal the show however, making Adam work for the win coming in second just over a second back. Michael Markov came down in third place. The ever-competitive Senior Sport category saw the top two podium finishers post times that would have won in Sr. Expert. David Botero took the win followed by Jeff Sevenson (who would take the Sr. Sport Overall title) and Marcus Good. Brad Turner took the win in the Master 30+ category over Colin MacIntosh who toughed through an ankle injury sustained during the 16” race from the night before. Gregory Zaffarano would be third.
In typical end of the year fashion, Sir Sam’s also hosted the ever-popular 16” race. The crews from Tufrack and Eastside put together another amazing course with jumps; rock gardens and a big tabletop jump at the end. Colin MacIntosh was a favorite to win the event, but had to retire early due to an ankle sprain sustained in the quarterfinal. Instead, when the dust settled it would be Bretton Matthews taking the win with Marcus Good second and Colby Matthews third.
On behalf of all of the racers I would like to thank Jon Anderson and the rest of the Tufrack crew for another amazing year of downhill racing. Your commitment to our sport and our series is unbelievable and we are extremely grateful that you guys put on these events for us.
I would also like to thank the photographers who generously donated their photos for this write up. In no particular order I would like to thank Stephen Harwood, Mike Markov, Hung Lam and Jayme Stokes for their contributions to this article. Here are a few images from the great weekend of racing at Sir Sam’s.