Catharine Pendrel again proved her dominance in the 2011 Test of Metal, winning the Elite Female division for the third consecutive year and for the fourth time out of the last five years.
Even more impressive was the fact that Pendrel established a brand new record for women at this year’s race, with a time of two hours, 45 minutes, 45.4 seconds. Pendrel was also only two seconds off cracking the top 10 overall for the race.
“I found a good group of guys to keep pace with early on and it seemed to work for me,” she said.
Pendrel smashed her time from 2010 by five minutes and led from tape to tape. She said she has a high comfort level at the event.
“Every year you see the same people competing and just all the people cheering on the course makes it a fun event,” she said. “I seem to always have good races here. It’s good for my form and it’s really awesome to come home and race.”
The Kamloops resident will now return to the World Cup circuit, where she sits second in the Union Cycliste Internationale rankings. It was also a good race for Brackendale’s Brandi Heisterman, who finished second in the Elite Female division, improving on her fifth-place finish from 2010.
“It was awesome and an absolutely amazing race for me,” she said. “When I was passing some of the nationally ranked girls, I was shocked.”
Heisterman said an upgrade in equipment might have led to her jump in the standings.
“I got a way lighter bike for this year’s race and trained a lot more seriously and specifically,” she said.
Heisterman said she got off to a good start and that her knowledge of the Squamish trails helped lead her to the second-place finish.
“I wanted to have a strong start and I think I did,” she said. “Nine Mile was tough and the Plunge was greasy, but the course was awesome. It was totally rideable but I had a huge advantage knowing these trails. I knew where to push it and knew where to slow down a bit and that makes a huge difference.”
Heisterman edged out Jean Ann Berkenpas of Maple Ridge, one of several nationally recognized females.
“I’m so stoked to be able to beat some of the top-ranked females,” she said, adding that she will next head to Mont-Sainte-Anne, Que., for her first-ever World Cup competition in a few weeks.
Team Squamish’s Mikayla Martin had a good Test of Metal debut and was the only female age 14 to 19 that was able to finish the race. She clocked in at 5:01:08.7, a time that she can likely build on for next year. Other Squamish winners included Claire Harvey (55 to 59), Sue Dare (50 to 54) and Rua Read (40 to 44).
Other division winners were Courtney McFadden of Bellingham (20 to 29), Whistler’s Sarah Olner (30 to 34), Nanaimo’s Janna Gillick (35 to 39), Cathryn Zeglinski of Whistler (45 to 49) and Nanaimo’s Mary Mark (60 to 69).
For more information and full results from the race, visit www.testofmetal.com.