Pack leaders push to the end during Sunday’s 27th Tour de Smithers on Babine Lake Road.

Pack leaders push to the end during Sunday’s 27th Tour de Smithers on Babine Lake Road.

Rain can’t keep diehard riders away from Tour de Smithers

Cyclists from across the northwest were ripping around Smithers and Telkwa Sunday morning, competing for the 2012 Tour de Smithers crown.

Cyclists from across the northwest were ripping around Smithers and Telkwa Sunday morning, competing for the 2012 Tour de Smithers crown in a 66-kilometre sprint race.

Riders from Smithers, Terrace, Telkwa, and Nelson hit the road in one of the valley’s longest-running road bike races.

“There’s about four or five of us in the group that are all pretty strong riders and all very experienced in road racing tactics which makes for a fun race,” said rider Peter Kruse.

Normally the race is 88 kilometres long however, when they started this year it was pouring rain and the group decided to do only 66 kilometres.

With all the amazing talent, Kruse said it was tough to pick out a dominant member in the pack.

“Usually at the end of the race no one tries to go in the last two kilometres because your just going to, what we call ‘wheelsuckers,’ stay on your back wheel.

So we just had a big sprint at the finish line and Vince just got me by about a wheel, but there was about five of us all within five seconds of each other.

”In first place Vince Druin from Terrace finished with a time of 158:04 pulling ahead ever so slightly from Kruse, who was right on his tail finishing with 158:05. Ronnie Haws from Nelson finished third with a time of 158:08, followed by James Woodworth from Telkwa, who finished at 158:10, and Larry McCulloch, who finished at 158:12.