Risky route pays off at Slamfest

Expert riders had a tough decision to make at the top of the black diamond run on Monday at Sima Slamfest, the third annual edition of the downhill mountain bike event hosted by Mt. Sima Ski Resort.

Expert riders had a tough decision to make at the top of the black diamond run on Monday at Sima Slamfest, the third annual edition of the downhill mountain bike event hosted by Mt. Sima Ski Resort.

Unlike in the beginner and intermediate downhill races, which took place on Sima’s new blue square courses installed this year, experts had to decide whether to take a safer – perhaps even faster – route down the steepest section of the course near the summit. The alternative was the “expert line,” a very steep incline leading to a six-foot drop, which had to be taken slowly, but awarded the riders who dared to take the plunge with eight seconds removed from their final time.

“We decided to give a bonus to anyone who did it because it’s a lot more technical a line than the other side,” said Slamfest organizer Justin Mullan. “It’s not any faster – it might be a little slower – because of the way you have to run it because of how steep the drop is.”

In the end, the risk paid off. The four riders who tempted fate were the four at the top of the final standings, headed by Julien Revel, who won with a time of two minutes, 49.37 seconds.

“That first section was pretty sketchy – that first drop there,” said Revel. “If you missed the line, you were done.”

Revel defeated second place rider Nic Garwin by just 0.76 seconds.

“I’m pretty lucky – he’s a good rider,” said Revel.

In fact, it was a close race throughout the field of racers, with the top five expert males coming in with 10.06 seconds of each other.

“That’s phenomenal, actually,” said Mullan. “I can’t believe it was that close.

“In previous years it’s never been that close. There’d be up to 45 seconds separating first and 10th place. So to have everyone so close was awesome.”

The Sima Slamfest kicked off Sunday with its first-ever chainless downhill race. Using the honour system, riders raced down Sima without peddling, relying on gravity to reach the bottom.

For the expert men, it was Garwin this time, taking first ahead of Ben Gilbert, who was third in Monday’s downhill race, and Revel in third. For the expert women, Alexandra Dubois defeated Kate White.

“Without a chain you’re pumping your bike through the course and you just balance on your peddles,” said Revel. “If you’re a good rider, you’ll be good at that usually, it’s one of the keys to being a good rider.

“It’s really good training, just being in control.”

It has been a big summer for Mt. Sima – aside from opening mountain bike trails and offering summer activities for the first time.

In July, the resort received $1,555,880 from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency to build an adventure park.

The Mt. Sima WildPlay Element Park, as it will be called, will feature a series of obstacles built on poles, suspended tightropes and bridges and Tarzan swings.

The park will also include two “ZOOM” ziplines. The first will run from the top of Sima to the peak of an adjacent mountain, running over a kilometre in length and propelling the passenger to about 90 kilometres an hour. A second zipline can then be taken back to the base of Sima.


Expert female

1st Martina Knopp – 3:57.59

2nd Kaitlyn MacDonald – 6:14.62

Expert male

1st Julien Revel – (-8 sec) 2:49.37

2nd Nic Garwin – (-8 sec) 2:50.13

3rd Ben Gilbert – (-8 sec) 2:56.55

4th Justin Mullan – (-8 sec) 2:57.93

5th Adam Seeley – 2:59.43

6th Nigel Saintclair-Eckert – 3:03.21

7th Jarrid Davy – 3:05.35

8th Jim Coates – 3:07.99

9th Simon Geoffroy-Gagnon – 3:14.96

10th Matt Ireland – 3:15.50

11th David Pharand – 3:31.10

12th Calaban Guidolin – 4:10.88

Intermediate female

1st Danielle Hodgson – 8:56.94

2nd Catherine O’Donovan – 9:41.31

3rd Kate White – 10:24.45

4th Kim Nadeau – 12:10.53

5th Skylah Hodgson – 12:20.51

6th Mackenzie Davy – 12:52.21

Intermediate male

1st Nic Garwin – 7:15.00

2nd David Pharand – 7:15.28

3rd Justin Mullan – 7:28.95

4th Zack Young – 9:41.20

Youth male

1st Kevin Salesse – 4:34.50

2nd Brody Ryckman – 4:44.26

3rd Adam Waddington – 4:47.23

4th Etienne Geoffrey-Gagnon – 4:58.06

5th Mack Pollard – 5:12.09

6th Sam Schirmer – 5:18.61

7th Nic Mcdougall – 5:26.06

8th Ian Hansen – 5:29.59

Kid female

1st Mackenzie Davy – 6:09.83

2nd Fayne O’Donovan – 8:20.87

Kid male

1st Tim Schirmer – 4:33.27

2nd Christopher Ritchie – 5:15.83

3rd Ethan Davy – 6:35.77

4th Nathan Abel – 9:18.85


Expert male

1st Nic Garwin – 4:24.2

2nd Ben Gilbert – 4:31.09

3rd Julien Revel – 4:33.06

Expert female

1st Alexandra Dubois – 6:55.49

2nd Kate White – 7:18.81

Youth female

1st MacKenzie Davy – 7:43.6

Youth male

1st Nigel Saint-Clair – 4:53.18

2nd Simon Geoffroy-Gagnon – 5:08.70

3rd Calaban Guidolin – 5:37.08

Kid male

1st Ethan Davy – 8:33.36

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com