If you haven’t been to the Pemberton Classic for previous years, I would suggest this is the year to try. The Pemberton is a two-parter: Saturday afternoon Crit on a 1.5km course; and a graded Road Race through the hills around Pemberton on Sunday morning.
For this year the Crit event will make up part of The Ring Criterium Series – and that 1.5km course is something special. Through the middle of town starting right near the pub (WIN!), starting down a nice hill (WIN), nice wide berth through the fast right hander (photo opportunity – WIN), flat section around the back of town (WIN) then a sharp kick upwards to the sky (um….), continuing up past the pub (oh, not stopping AT the pub….) and uuuuuup over the start finish. She giveth and she taketh away. It’s a course that rewards the punchy power climbers and not so much the sprinters.
The Sunday Road Race sees a sharp hit up Pump Hill Rd in the first km – a hill similar to Oceanic and Reabold – and rolling country hills with a fast descent back into town for another lap, or a left hander to the short sprint finish depending on your grades’ distance. It is a picturesque, challenging and fun route.
What makes this special is the town – there are bike frames hanging up all over town and every single local business sponsors this event – really. We couldn’t find a business in town that wasn’t on the supporters list of the program. It’s quite something. The hospitality of the town is spectacular, with a cracking pub menu (exactly what you need after a hard day’s racing) and any number of wineries, breweries and local producers to visit after the legs have cooled down.
Check out last year’s Race Report HERE which also saw the debut of the SPR Van. The Pemberton Classic 2018 is on the March Labour Day Long Weekend, you get to ride your bike, and there’s a brewery – I’m in.
Registrations are scheduled to open this week, and with accommodation starting to book out for the long weekend, you should get in quickly. The SPR Race Committee will be there with the Van and the support kit of tents, flags, Jon Hanson’s exceptional stories and Poodle’s squeaking turkey. I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed.