Stephen Ferris and the Blizzard Bike Club won Challenge Cup #2 road race in Grande Prairie, Sunday. Stephen Ferris of the Blizzard Club edged out Steve Magusin of the host Grande Prairie Wheelers club, by a mere 43 seconds after 70 km's on Highway 40. Stephen's time was 2:04:20 hours. GP's Colin McArthur held off FSJ's Vaughn Hildebrand for third at 2:09:05 and Mike Hientzman 5th at 2:09:24.
The Blizzard Club won the total event with 59 points to Grande Prairie's 51. A close one!
Twenty-three riders started out under hot, dry conditions. The race was an odd one with many of the favourites getting flat tires or involved in numerous crashes.
Stephen and Steven broke away after a few kilometers, soon gaining a big lead. The pack was content to cruise along and bide its time until a rash of flats occurred, which seemed to throw the riders into some confusion. Dave Damery had a flat, after 10 km's or so, soon to be followed by Joe Radench and then Mark Kildaw.
A pack split took place as the group neared the turn. The two Steves' were enjoying a solid lead with the pack of Vaughn Hildebrand, Joseph Gladysz, Pat Ferris, Mike Hientzman, Colin McArthur, Duncan Banks and Scott Perry in pursuit.
Stephen Ferris disposed of Steve Magusin at the final hill to come in for the lone win. The pack split up with Colin McArthur holding off Vaughn for 4 Th. Mike Hientzman overcame a flat tire to get 5 the at 2:09:24, Joseph Gladysz 2:09:52, Scott Perry 2:10:25, Duncan Banks 2:15:36, Pat Ferris 2:20:18, Ken Perry 2:20:56, Mark Kildaw 2:22:37, Carla Kufelt 2:24:51 with a crash, Joe Radench with two flats and 2:25:00, Richard Wood 2:26:50, Francis Plum 2:27:00 and David Ferris 2:33:14.
Jamie Mangrove won the 34 km with 1:15:05 and Lisa Verbisky second at 1:18:02.
Ken Nix won the 54 km with 1:53:00. Ross Garbutt had a crash and 1:54:32, Greg Poirier 1:57:43 and Dean Lowry who also ate pavement and had a 2:00:42.
Stephen Ferris and Pat Ferris both rode the Canada Day Criterium in Edmonton, July 1st. Pat was 7th in the Masters A & B event. Stephen Ferris was 10th in the Category 4 event. Conditions were very hot and fast with a large crowd of cyclists and spectators in attendance.
The Blizzards have a group of adventure racers in Invermere, this coming weekend, July 4-6 for the Sea2Summit multi-day event. This will be Tammy and Richard Howes, Erik Snucins and Derek Waldron's second time in this grueling event. Participants run, paddle, climb and bike over 225 km's in the mountains.