Cyclers race in Oliver

Cyclers race in Oliver

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Get ready – B.C.’s best young cyclists are coming to the Okanagan, including Oliver, for the province’s premier junior cycling competition.

For three days in June, the top junior riders from across B.C. will be in Penticton, Oliver and Summerland for a heart-pounding display of skill and speed – up to 85 kilometres an hour.

This is the B.C. Youth Cycling Championships, but most people know it as the Hayman Classic.

The event is named for Ron Hayman, one of Canada’s most storied cyclists, and now managing Jakroo Canada from Penticton.

The Hayman Classic opens on the afternoon of Friday, June 10 with a time trial west of Summerland. That’s followed by a morning criterium on Saturday, June 11 in Penticton and a morning road race on Sunday, June 12 in and around Oliver.

This is a fast-paced, nerves-of-steel race in which the riders are repeatedly challenged by tight turns over multiple laps of a course through downtown Penticton. The turns are a true test of a rider’s ability to brake and accelerate around corners in a pack and at high speed.

A time trial is a race against the clock in which riders start individually at 30 second intervals and cover a fixed distance; distances are based on age, and range from 8 km to 25 km. The rider with the best time takes home the laurels.

A road race is what you see in the Tour de France or, closer to home, the Tour of Alberta. From a mass start, riders go as hard as they can for as long as they can, in this instance over a punishing route in and around Oliver.

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