PHOTOS: There will be mud at Donkey Cross

While the major rainstorm that was forecast held off, dozens of riders still got down and dirty at Saturday’s annual Donkey Cross cyclocross race in Port Coquitlam’s Castle Park.

The race was the first of seven that comprise the Lower Mainland Cyclocross series.

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Cyclocross is like steeplechase racing on two wheels. Riders navigate a winding, undulating course for several laps that includes obstacles, a metres-long “beach” of soft sand, and even a stretch of snow from a local arena dumped into a corner. The sport originated as a form of off-season training for road cyclists in Northern Europe who would often challenge each other to get to the coffee shop in the next village the quickest. Often, that meant traversing farmers’ fields and hopping fences and hedges, elements that are still honoured in modern cyclocross racing.

The next race in the LMCX is scheduled for Sept. 22, at the Garibaldi Springs golf course in Squamish.

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