Burnt River.. Rd #1 Eastern Canadian XC Championships

Article by Suzanne Howie
FMSQ3Last year was the year of dust; a decided lack of rain left almost every venue hard packed, dusty and bone dry. This year, Mother Nature’s making up for it. With heavy rains many weeks in a row, riders knew that the Burnt River round, typically the one round that, regardless of weather, was always wet, would be muddy. But.. mud or not hundreds
of riders turned out for the first of two back to back weekends featuring a partnership between the OO and the FMSQ, Quebec’s governing body. Having been around for many years, the FMSQ really knows how to “bring it,” in terms of professional presentation and skilled riders; many, many skilled racers. With two day events, Saturday hosting VTTs and Sunday hosting dirt bikes, FMSQ events can see upwards of 800 participants. While Burnt River didn’t have quite that many riders, it still had an amazing turn out. Saturday’s VTT race showed the Ontario two-wheel community how the big machines can really rip it up. Of course, there was a lone racer from Ontario, and he placed well among the stiff competition. Kinmount Native, and all around smilin’ guy, Aaron Wilkins raced in the Intermediate class, taking not only top honours in that class, but he finished second overall.

“I just wanted to come out and have some fun,” the #18 KTM rider said Sunday before he took the line in the highly contested Pro class. “I’m kind of second guessing that now though; I’m going to be pretty tired for the mud!”
And muddy it was. Saturday’s race was, for the most part, fairly dry, but early Sunday morning the skies opened up and it wasn’t until early afternoon that the Sun finally began to work its way through to dry up the ground. By then, the damage was done. Standing water was covering many sections of trail; race crews did a great job rerouting and reworking the course, making sure in all the race heats riders were in for a technically challenging, but safe, course.
Because the classes didn’t entirely match up, there was some mixing and matching of classes and skill levels to make things even. One thing that did translate well was the Pro (OO) and Expert (FMSQ). There were a handful of guys who could land on the podium, but in the end it was a repeat of the previous Sunday, with Josh Long sitting on the top spot of the podium, with the FMSQ’s fastest, Loic Leonard, in second. Brian Wojnarowski finished third.
Racers are finally being treated to some much needed time off. In just over a week’s time the annual Ant Hill Classic in Moorefield will take place. This is one of the heritage events in the series, and a must show for many racers. These particular trails are only open for riding this one time a year, which makes them special. Don’t miss one of the most notorious, longest courses on the circuit!
FMSQ1In addition to the FMSQ and their fabulous crew who provided excellent logistical support, Off Road Ontario would like to thank Rob and Connie Greenlaw, Keith Bowie and their army of volunteers, as well as all of its fantastic series sponsors: KTM Canada, Yamaha Canada, Honda Canada, Machine Racing, GP Bikes, Bowie Contracting ltd, Hone Printing, Orange Motorsports, Apex Cycle, Swampy’s Racing Supplies, Woody’s Cycle, LB Graphics, Cecile Gambin Photography, Free Flow MX Park, Lachapelle Racing Products and Asselstine Country.

Results can be viewed here..