A Queenstown pair have won the mixed title in a Canadian mountain bike race in spectacular fashion.
Not only did Kate Fluker, 31, and Mark Williams, 45, easily take the title in the seven-day TransRockies Classic, which finished last Sunday, but they’d have been second team home in the open men category, while Fluker was the fifth-fastest individual rider.
The pair covered the hilly 550km course in the Canadian Rockies, in British Columbia, in just under 25-and-a-half hours.
That was almost seven hours faster than the next mixed team, who included former two-time Canadian Olympic road rider Lyne Bessette.
Had Bessette not had a big crash on the last day, Fluker says they’d have only won by an hour to an hour-and-a-half.
“They were a pretty good team, they gave us a good push on one of the days.”
Fluker says she and Williams had “an awesome race”.
“Throughout training I was feeling really good, and ‘Willy’ just timed his training perfectly – he was on form every single day.
“It was definitely hard.
“I really did push my body so I’m really happy that I could go through the seven days.”
She says her husband Reon Boe provided great support – “he could deal with my nerves and calm me down and get me food”.
Her only moment of panic came when a motorcyclist on the course warned her one day that a grizzly mother bear and her two cubs were just ahead.
“I did have a little sob and I asked ‘Willy’ what the hell I should do, I was so worried.”
Fortunately, for her sake, she never got to see them.
On a happier note, she says “the views in the Rockies were unreal”.
“It was pretty amazing.”