Fiala pedals to fifth club championship

Wendy Fiala was the leader of the pack all season on her road bike.

On Saturday, she made it official, capturing the Prince George Cycling Club's championship title on the women's side after winning both the 42-kilometre Alpine Road Race and the 4.5-km time trial.

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The two events were parts three and four of the club's season-ending Cycle Logic Quadrilogy that also included Friday's criterium and Thursday's gruelling 5.56-kilometre hill climb from North Nechako Road up Foothills Boulevard to East Austin Road. Fiala won the crit and the hill climb too.

But Saturday, after clocking one hour, 31.31 minutes on a two-lap course around Pineview to win the road race, she was happy to wrap up the four-races-in-three-days event.

"I was tired going into today (Saturday)," she said. "It was 30 degrees during the hill climb. Today I just paced myself for the distance. This was the fourth race and I'm happy with the season overall. It's a great group of people who are very supportive of each other as a club."

Fiala had an almost a two-minute cushion over Erin Reynolds who finished second with a time of 1:33.43. Leanne Garrison was right behind her in third place at 1:34:41.

In the men's 72km road race, it came down to another sprint finish as Kris Yip narrowly edged Neil Hodgson and Dan Bedard for the win. Yip crossed the line first in 2:00:14, followed by Hodgson in 2:00:15 and Bedard in third place with 2:00:16.

Yip's road race win, combined with a victory in Friday's criterium to go along with a pair of second-place finishes in the hill climb and time trial gave him enough points to win the men's championship.

Bedard, who set a new personal best on his victorious 11:39-minute hill club up Foothills Blvd., finished tied for second in the club championship with Rob Millar, who finished third in both the time trial and criterium, as well as fourth in the hill climb and fifth in the road race.

On the women's side, Lanita Horning finished second in the overall season standings behind Fiala with a fifth place in the hill climb, fourth in the time trial, third in the crit and sixth in the road race. Garrison was third overall thanks to a solid weekend that included second place in the hill climb and time trial and fourth in the criterium.

It's the fifth club championship title for Fiala, who won the trophy four times when she was known as Wendy Norquay in 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992 in her 20s.

After dominating the circuit back then, Fiala took time out to get married to two-time Olympic biathlete Tony Fiala and raise a family that is now very involved in cross-country skiing at the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club.

But the cycling bug never left her.

"Cycling has always been my passion," said Wendy, who turned 50 last month. "It was time to get off the couch (two years ago) and it's a great complement to cross-country skiing. I have two life sports now. The competitiveness came back (on the bike) and I started seeing a little progress. This week is was all about doing some personal bests and see how I could push myself."

Fiala's competitive cycling season is now complete as she eyes competing at the 2017 World Master Cross-Country skiing championships.

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