In a race deemed by onlookers and competitors as the wettest and muddiest on record, it was only fitting that a local rider took home the top prize at the 2012 Test of Metal.
Squamish’s Neal Kindree was the first to cross the finish line with a time of two hours, 34 minutes, 24 seconds, beating out second-place finisher Chris Sheppard by more than four minutes.
“I'm happy with how it went but I had to keep my eye on Sheppard for most of the race,” Kindree said after the race. “Chris was riding hard the first 15 to 20 kilometres but then he kind of eased up. Then I decided to open it up and there was a gap and I decided to go with it and it stuck. He almost caught me on Bonk [Hill] but then I turned it on again.”
It's the first victory in the Test for Kindree since 2007 (he also won it in 2006) after a third-place finish last year and a ninth-place showing in 2010. It was the second straight second-place finish for Sheppard, who lost out to Kris Sneddon last year. Coming in third was Cory Wallace from Jasper, who posted a time of 2:41:27.
Squamish resident Greg Day had a strong showing with a time of 2:44:41 to finish fourth.
“Top five was my goal so I’m really happy with the finish,” he said. “It was a tough race like always with really wet conditions and it was definitely the muddiest Test I've been a part of.”
Day, who recently moved to Squamish from North Vancouver, said Kindree and Sheppard set the tone at the start of the race.
“There was definitely a split at the beginning because Neal and Chris really pulled away early on,” he said. “But there was a real battle between third, fourth, fifth and sixth.”
Other local males who finished in the top 100 included: Kelly Servinski (12th), Dwayne Kress (15th), Carl Goldstraw (26th), Davey Mitchell (34th), David Reid (47th), Nathan McKay (55th), Matteo Abel (60th), Rhys Verner (67th), David Roulston (73rd), Jordan Tesluk (74th), Chris Bishop (76th), Chris Lawrence (78th), Brennan Covey (79th), Eric Goodwin (80th), Michael Kinney (93rd), Erik Carleberg (94th) and JD Disney (100th).
Team Squamish’s Verner won the 14 to 19 age division with a time of 3:15:37. Verner placed 67th overall and beat out the second-place rider in his age group by more than 11 minutes. Verner’s teammate Luke Di Marzo placed fourth in the division, with Ethan Toom placing sixth.
Other locals who reached the podium were: Daniel Gloor (second in 55 to 59 age group), Goldstraw (second in 55 to 59 age group) and Mitchell (second in 20 to 29 age group).
For complete results from the race, visit www.webscorer.com.