Duncan’s Peter Stevenson heads downhill during his race at the Bear Mountain Resort on Monday. The Cross on the Rock cyclocross event drew approximately 400 racers to the resort. Stevenson finished 14th in the Men’s Expert race.

Duncan’s Peter Stevenson heads downhill during his race at the Bear Mountain Resort on Monday. The Cross on the Rock cyclocross event drew approximately 400 racers to the resort. Stevenson finished 14th in the Men’s Expert race.

Cyclocross riders compete at Bear Mountain Resort on turkey day

Sport continues to grow locally and across the Island

The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa played host to approximately 400 cyclocross racers on Thanksgiving Day in the greatly anticipated Cross on the Rock “Bear X’ing” event.

Parker Bloom of Victoria and Carey Mark of Nanaimo were the big winners, taking home the top spots in the expert men’s and women’s event, respectively.

Bloom, 26, finished the men’s race in one hour, eight minutes and 37 seconds, while the 47 year-old Mark finished three and a half minutes ahead of her nearest competitor, crossing the finish line in under an hour at 54:09.

A pair of youngsters bested much older competition in the beginner category. Teenager Nicholas Knight, 14, of Qualicum Beach took the men’s title while 12 year-old Eva Leikermoser of Comox won the women’s competition, finishing in 28:25.

Phil Schum of Courtenay and Glenowyn Carlson of Victoria were the men’s and women’s intermediate champions, while Normon Thibault and Bill McMillan, both from Nanaimo, each took home masters titles in their respective age categories to round out the list of winners on Monday.

Cyclocross races typically take place in the autumn or winter and races consist of several laps of a short, 2.5- to 3.5-kilometre course featuring a variety of surfaces, including pavement, wooded trails, grass, hills and other obstacles which often force riders to dismount in order to get past.Participation in cyclocross continues to grow on Vancouver Island, although the sport remains strongest in Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com