A group of Cochrane BMX riders decided to skip their home cooked turkey dinner this Thanksgiving, opting instead to join aout 600 other BMXers in Chilliwack, B.C. for the Canadian Grands.
Cochrane BMX Association President Brad Christensen says it was a new experience for the eight Cochrane riders, but it was definitely a great experience.
"It was the Canadian Grands and that brings all the top riders from the U.S. and Canada so very elite riders showed up. There was a lot of world ranked riders there so it was exciting. A short, technical track and tight racing, very close quarters. It was a good experience."
Christensen says competing against world class riders gave the Cochrane kids something to shoot for. "All of our kids came back knowing, 'hey, we need to step up our game' and it gives them just a little bit more drive to train harder over the winter and see where you need to be to compete at that high level."
Not only were the Cochrane riders cdompeting with some of the best in the world, it was also the first experience riding on an indoor track for most of them.
"It's a different type of racing. It's a shorter track. It's not as wide as our tracks in Alberta. You're riding in very close quarters and it's very technical, you have to be able to ride comfortably beside these riders. We train over the winter at an indoor track at Olds but it's not built quite like this one was. This was definitely a high end track."
The Cochrane riders performed well at the event with two of them making their main (final of each class).
"Haylee Laurell is a seven year old female rider. She wound up finishing fourth overall . She had a really great, positive experience over the weekend and is just a phenomenal little rider, " according to Christensen.
Caleb Carey was the other Cochrane rider to make the final, finishing in the top eight in the nine year old boy's class. "Caleb did really well," says Christensen.
Christensen adds that all the other Cochrane riders made it to the semi finals, competing against some top riders. He says, "It's phenomenal the experience these kids gain at these races. It was great for them."
The Canadian Grands put the wrap on the BMX season for the Cochrane club.