Squamish's Neal Kindree proved he's just as good on the pavement as he is on the dirt.
Kindree capped off a 2012 cycling season that saw him win the Hell of a Series with a ninth place finish in the RBC Gran Fondo on Saturday (Sept. 8).
The local legend completed the 122 kilometre ride in 3:26:56, just over two and a half minutes behind the leader James Scale of Vancouver. Kindree was the fifth rider to cross the finish line but after time corrections it was determined he posted the ninth fastest time. It was the first time Kindree had competed in the Gran Fondo race.
Meanwhile, 2010 women's winner Leah Guloien came in with a time of 3:28:01 and was the first female to finish by more than seven minutes.
"I'm happy with how I rode, I had good legs," said the Port Moody resident.
Squamish resident Mike Charuk had the next best local time, completing the course with a time of 3:39:30, good for 104th overall. The Team Squamish head coach placed 36th overall in a field of over 1100 competitors in his 40 to 49 age group division.
The top local female was Rua Read, who placed 326th overall with a time of 3:54:55. Read placed sixth in her 40 to 49 age group and 22nd overall amongst all women in the race.
Other strong local showings included Ben Eksteen (138th), Tyler Jordan (215th), Doug Engstrom (256th), Martin Caron (266th), Paul Zuckernick (268th) and Mark Haldenby (286th).
The youth of Team Squamish served well in the race as Rhys Verner finished with a time of 4:08:05, good for 605th overall and fifth in the under 18 male division. Right behind him was teammate Ethan Toom, who finished one second later.
Event co-founder Kevin Thomson said organizers really feel like they've found the formula for success with the event now in its third year, and that feedback about the course improvements for 2012 was overwhelmingly positive.
“People who have rode the event before really noticed the difference,” Thomson said while watching cyclists roll across the finish line. “Every little snippet (of feedback) I've heard so far is like a little bit of magic.”
Visit www.rbcgranfondowhistler.com/news/ride-results for a full list of results and check the print edition of The Chief for more on this story.
With files from Eric Mackenzie, Whistler Question