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Cross on the Rock cyclocross racers speed through Nanaimo

Muc-Off Cup race took place at Bowen Park on Oct. 9
Shannon Baerg from Victoria takes a sharp corner and dismounts during the Muc-Off Cup at Bowen Park in Nanaimo on Oct. 9. (Mandy Moraes/News Bulletin)

Racers from across the province sped around Bowen Park on Thanksgiving Day as part of the biggest cyclocross series in Canada.

The Muc-Off Cup, a stop on the Cross on the Rock cyclocross schedule, saw roughly 300 cyclists in 11 races pedal through rainy and muddy track conditions, including the park’s sand volleyball court, on Monday, Oct. 9.

Sean Lunny, organizer for the Muc-Off Cup and co-owner of Rock City Cycles, said the Cross on the Rock series continually sees participants coming back and, as a family-friendly event, includes different races for youngsters as well.

“You’ll see tons of parents here with their kids,” he said. “And you see the racers progress, which is kind of cool … We’ve done this long enough that we’ve seen the kids who have done the ‘little little’ race and now they’ll be racing expert and doing well.”

Lunny added that Bowen Park is one of the best courses for the series because the riders are highly visible.

“Just the way this park happens to work, because they cross back and forth and back and forth. It’s nice for spectators because it’s sort of in a bowl … We’re kind of a landmark for this race,” he said.

Nanaimo winners included Noah Lutz, 13, in the launch men’s race in 30 minutes flat; Ken Olson, 57, in the super masters men’s division in 45:34; and Wendy Simms, 51, in the masters women’s race in 40:49.

The Cross on the Rock series started on Sept. 10 with the Coal Cross in Cumberland, and Cross on the Commons on Oct. 1 in Qualicum Beach. It will continue in Langford on Oct. 22, return to Nanaimo for a race at Beban Park on Oct. 29, and conclude in Duncan at the Cowichan Exhibition Park on Nov. 12.

More information on Cross on the Rock can be found at

READ MORE: Snow falls on cyclocross championship in Kelowna

Mandy Moraes

About the Author: Mandy Moraes

I joined Black Press Media in 2020 as a multimedia reporter for the Parksville Qualicum Beach News, and transferred to the News Bulletin in 2022
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