Kentville Hosts Canada Cup Series

Kentville Hosts Canada Cup Series
By Genevieve Allen Hearn

This year, Kentville will be hosting a Canada Cup mountain bike event at The Gorge trail on August 4 and 5. Organized by TrailFlow Outdoor Adventures, the event will welcome over 200 racers and run activities for the general public. The Canada Cup series provides competitive opportunities to cyclists transitioning from provincial race series to international competitions. It is hosted by Cycling Canada, and features seven mountain bike events and five downhill events across the country.

Ryan Lindh is the co-owner of TrailFlow Outdoor Adventures, a company that creates recreational programming and facilities specializing in trail design and construction, mountain bike guiding, clinics, and event promotion. TrailFlow systems in Kings County include The Gorge in Kentville, the Wolfville Reservoir Park, the Woodville Hiking Trails, and the Anima Mundi Trails in Gaspereau. Ryan felt that The Gorge was the perfect location for a Canada Cup race because it has good terrain and offers technical riding with steep climbs, rough descents, and plenty of roots and rocks. “It meets the needs Cycling Canada has for trail difficulty,” Ryan says, “and the proximity to the town helps. Having the use of other facilities like Memorial Park allows us to do something big.”

The last time the Canada Cup series was in Nova Scotia was in 2002 at Ski Martock. According to Ryan, having the race in Kentville is “a big deal for the whole province.” He continues, “It’s good for athlete development. It means local athletes can compete and don’t have to fly to places like British Columbia or Alberta.” Mike Phillips from Valley Stove & Cycle and Vice-President of the Annapolis Valley Mountain Bike Association also expresses his enthusiasm for the event taking place in Kentville. “The Canada Cup Series is a world class national race series which will bring professional racers to our community and expose spectators to a very high level of professional mountain bike racing.The initiative taken by the Town of Kentville and and Trailflow is inspiring.”

The Town of Kentville will also benefit from the 200+ racers who come with coaches, support teams, and family. “It gives exposure to Kentville’s trails and community. It will be a community-focused event as well,” Ryan explains, which means folks don’t have to race in order to participate in the weekend of activities. Spectators are welcome to watch the races from The Gorge or from Memorial Park, where a section of the course will be located. The town will be organizing concerts and other activities during the weekend, and TrailFlow will be offering group rides and riding clinics before and after the races. Cyclists who want to dip their toes in mountain bike racing have the opportunity to go through the trails with an experienced rider.

The Canada Cup series is the second-largest bike racing event next to the World Cup race in Quebec. The success of this event will rely on help from community volunteers. If interested, contact Ryan at race@trailflow.ca or find more information on the event at kentvillecanadacup.ca.