Local rider earns provincial title

Mountain bike racer Hannah van der Roest picks up a gold medal at an event in Port Moody.

Hannah van der Roest celebrates her gold medal at the high school mountain biking provincials.

Hannah van der Roest celebrates her gold medal at the high school mountain biking provincials.

Hannah van der Roest is a provincial champion after coming out in first place in a cross country race during a province-wide high school mountain bike competition in Port Moody.

Van der Roest earned first place honours in Cross Country with a time of 42:39, and also came in third place for a shorter downhill Enduro course with a time of 18:08.

Not bad in a field of roughly 120 other competitors.

“It feels pretty awesome,” said van der Roest, a Grade 11 student at Mount Baker Secondary School. “It was a really fun race and it’s really fun to stand on top of the podium.”

Each year, a different school hosts a mountain bike race for provincials but the only East Kootenay representation came from riders in Mount Bake, Kootenay Christian Academy and an athlete out of Revelstoke.

It was a bit of a gloomy race-day, with some rain to add another element to the event, said van der Roest.

“The trail was very rooty and had lots of boardwalks. It was very different from Cranbrook riding, that’s for sure,” she said.

“…You can’t really compare two places to one another, because it’s a different kind of riding, but the trail itself was quite technical and difficult, but really fun. There were a couple wipeouts and some blood at the finish line, but lots of kids had a lot of fun.”

Van der Roest rides with a Kona Hei Hei Supreme, which she said is “the best mountain bike in the world,” and has been involved in the sport ever since getting on a two-wheeler at five years old.

She credits her dad, Les, and Ryan Hamilton, her coach at Mount Baker, for being supportive mentors that have helped her become successful in races.

Van der Roest also gave a shout-out to the Wildhorse Cylcing Club, which she rides with and encourages anyone of all ages to get involved.

“Cranbrook’s a really great place for mountain biking,” she said.