Posted by Editoress on 07/1/10
BC Bike Race Stage Four: Sunshine Coast’s Ripping Ridge Ride
Racers awoke to an idyllic setting: waves gently lapping against the sandy Powell River shoreline and the Vancouver Island mountain range reflecting in the placid Pacific waters on the horizon. It was a fitting farewell to the most picturesque Base Camp location BC Bike Race has seen.
Another scenic ferry ride kicked off the day, as a small BC Ferries vessel transported the racers and race crew to the Day Four start location in Earls Cove. As the ferry pulled up to the dock, the BCBR logoed arching silhouette hinted at the start location: just metres from the ferry terminal offload ramp. Racers walked off the ferry, located their bikes and warmed up for a big day of singletrack.
Day Four is the first point-to-point stage in this year’s race. Epic riders journeyed 62kms from the ferry terminal to the finish line in the centre of Sechelt. Challenge riders were shuttled to their start location partway along the Epic route and raced the final 28km into Sechelt. Approximately 10-15km of singletrack on this course was hand built just in the last 2 years.
Rod Camposano, the Course Director for this stage and the next, has a long history of trail building and course design and is known for rewarding tough climbs with outrageously fun swoopy singletrack. Today didn’t disappoint. As Rod stood trailside at various points along the route, racers thanked him – and others jokingly cursed him – for the terrific ride. Many racers proclaimed Day Four to be their favourite stage. “Despite the tough climbs, the downhill was amazing!” said one racer as he stopped to shake Rod’s hand on course.
These trails didn’t cause any major shake-ups on the leader board, but there are some nail-bitingly close contests developing, including the mere 5 second spread separating the Epic Solo Masters Men. Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain Bikes) still holds the fastest time, though there were less than 3 minutes separating him from the next Solo Male, Jason Sager (Jamis) overall.
Wednesday’s selected stage and overall highlights:
Epic Team of 2 Women – Alana Heise & Kate Aardal, Terralandscape-Hardcore Racing 4:27:29
Epic Team of 2 Mixed – Geoff Kabush, Rocky Mountain - Maxxis & Catharine Pendrel, Team Luna 4:41:06
Epic Solo Men – Chris Sheppard, Team Rocky Mountain Bikes 2:29:31 (Jason Sager 3:14:35; Colin Kerr – 3:25:03)
Epic Solo Masters Men – Simon Pulfrey 3:50:17 & Ted Russo – 3:50:17
Epic Team of 2 Men – Kris Sneddon and Barry Wicks, Team Kona 8:38:54
Epic Team of 2 Women – Brandi Helstermen & Cathy Zeglinski, Team Northlands Medical Clinic 11:36:39
Epic Team of 2 Mixed – Geoff Kabush, Team Rocky Mountain - Maxxis & Catharine Pendrel, Team Luna 9:39:58
Epic Solo Men – Chris Sheppard, Team Rocky Mountain Bikes 8:32:07
Epic Solo Women – Melanie McQuaid, Team Specialized 10:35:55
Epic Solo Masters Men – Simon Pulfrey 13:50:25 & Ted Russo 1 3:50:30
A long, multi-day, high-mileage event like BCBR makes bike mechanicals inevitable and fine-tuning absolutely necessary. Up until this year, racers had to tend to their own mechanical issues on course. New for 2010, the Shimano team has being setting up a daily “on course” service area at the second Aid Station on the Epic course. Countless riders have taken advantage of the new service offering – from chain lubes to funky shifters, from broken chains to snapped derailleurs the Shimano crew has ensured that racers have emergency bike care to get them to the finish line.
Shimano has entered into a very solid long term contract with BCBR and they’ve taken advantage of the race week attention to address some items. On June28, Shimano announced their new XTR line, which doesn’t hit store shelves here until later this year. And July 2 is Shimano day in Squamish, featuring an invitation only VIP area, a kids’ race and, of course, all the excitement of the BC Bike Race. Shimano Day promises to be an outstanding event within an event.
This year BC Bike Race has the challenge of introducing the abbreviated Challenge category and ensuring that the two versions of the course are safely delivered. Today I witnessed a remarkable sight: near the final leg of the race, Chris Sheppard came flying past Rod’s truck. Moments later Kris Holm (mountain unicyclist) pedalled by with a huge smile followed closely by the high-speed Kona/Jamis freight train – Kris Sneddon, Barry Wicks, and Jason Sager. How many times in life will you see the fastest riders in a race split by Kris Holm on a unicycle!?
Next up: The last leg of Sunshine Coast singletrack… Always a standout with riders of all levels, Highway 103 serves up a 7km long descent into the BC Ferries Langdale terminal where they’ll blast across the finish line, wash up their bikes and hop onto the final ferry trip of the race.
BC Bike race report
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