The BC Bike Race is about to get underway!

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    • #120323
      BC BIKE RACE YEAR SEVEN:

      READY TO ROLL

      Vancouver, B.C. –The BC Bike Race is ready to roll with a stacked roster of singletrack hounds salivating at the mouth to get out and race the ‘Ultimate Singletrack Experience’. Day one begins June 30th in Cumberland and finishes in Whistler on July 6th, 2013.

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      Year seven will see few changes to a course that has been tweaked to perfection over the previous six years. Each town along the course provides a large selection of ‘handmade’ trails that have for 359 days or since the last edition received some serious trail attention; buffing, shaping and carving the legendary trails into premium condition for this the 2013 alumni’s adventure.

      The Enduro is back, 13 chip timed special segments will highlight some of the best descents of each stage. Ranging in length from 1 km’s to 2.5 km’s the Enduro ‘the race within the race’ will continue to reward the technically savvy over the engine only types.

      While registration takes place in North Vancouver July 28 and 29, the 550 racers from 26 different countries will hit the dirt, flowing singletrack in Cumberland. From there the journey will unfold crossing the Pacific Ocean three times on the BC Ferries, visiting Campbell River, Powell River, Sechelt and Squamish to it’s conclusion in Whistler BC.

      Last years champions Neal Kindree and Wendy Simms will take on challengers from all over the globe as they defend their right to wear the leaders yellow jersey on the final podium.

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      Top Male Competitors:

      Neal Kindree – Defending his 2012 BCBR title as the fastest man over seven days of singletrack. Neal hails from the local town of Squamish and has been a member of the Canadian National Team.

      Matt Hadley – Team Xpresso, The overall Canada Cup winner in 2011, Matt placed 4th at BCBR in 2012 and is back to climb higher on the podium.

      Cory Wallace – Team Kona, An endurance specialist, Cory was 2nd at the 24 hours World in 2010, won a stage at BCBR in 2012 and was 2nd at the Mongolia Bike Challenge in 2011. He is poised from some imminent greatness will this be his year?

      Guido Thaler – Team Craft Rocky Mountain Bikes, A European Marathon Specialist hailing form Austria back for his second run at the Podium after last years eye opening experience and 7th place.

      Carter Hovey – Team Orbea, He nearly won the Mongolia Bike Challenge in 2012 and is on track to be one of the fastest stage race specialists. He was 6th at BCBR in 2012 and certainly hopes to move onto the podium this time around.

      Sam Whitingham – Naked Bikes, Known as the fastest man in the World Sam currently holds the World Land Speed record in the human powered division, his mountain bikes skills are exceptional and this will be his first time at the BC Bike Race.

      Joe Murray – Voodoo Cycles, A Hall of Fame inductee and Industry Legend. His 12 straight wins in 1985 have to this day never been repeated in the US – Here for the sheer pleasure of singletrack Joe is never to be counted out.

      Top Women Competitors:

      Wendy Simms – Team Kona, The defending champion, Wendy has many accolades to her name including 6 Canadian National Cyclo-Cross titles, but the BCBR is near and dear to her heart as are her two sons.

      Anika Bergman – Team Craft Rocky Mountain Bikes, 2012 Swedish National Champion and former resident of Whistler where she was bitten by the singletrack bug. Together with her experience and her upward rising career this could be a great race.

      Top Enduro Competitors:

      Wade Simmons – Rocky Mountain Bikes, The Godfather of Free Ride and winner of the first RedBull Rampage, Wade is back for the second time around having had so much fun last year.

      Andreas Hestler -Team Rocky Mountain Bikes, Winner of the BC Bike Race Enduro 2012, Canadian Olympian and 5 x Canadian National Champion.

      Joe Schwartz – Team Kona, one of the first Free Riders to compete at the Redbull Rampage. Joe is a certified ACMG ski guide and coaches bikes between global adventures in the summer. A truly all around rider and legend in the sport.

      Stay tuned for race results and coverage beginning June 30th, with video highlights of each day’s action.

      Registration for 2014: will open July 7th at 12:00 noon PST http://www.bcbikerace.com

      Registered Racer List:

      http://www.bcbikerace.com/media/35329/2 … _june9.pdf

      BC Bike Race has some amazing partners in the creation of this annual event; Partners like Harbour Air, BC Ferries and Shimano have immense commitment to facilitating the entire experience of those attending. To move our entourage over the route that links such amazing communities couldn’t happen without BC Ferries. Harbour Air the Founding Sponsor has flown lost travelers and their bikes many times to remote locations in tight timelines to reunite and aid racers in completing their adventure. Shimano remains on course with technical Aid stations to ensure racer can complete their BCBR experience. Clif Bar will fuel the Feed Zones keeping racers in tip top nutritional shape along the amazing course.

      We would also like to thank all our returning sponsors for their commitment and assistance with making BC Bike Race an awesome event that allows its participants to focus on what we all truly love to do – Ride our Bikes!

      HARBOUR AIR, BC FERRIES, SHIMANO, ADERA, ROCKY MOUNTAIN BIKES, RYDERS EYEWEAR, CLIF BAR, FOX RACING SHOX, NATIVO CONCEPT, MAXXIS, CONTOUR, REDBULL, KAZLAW, RACE FACE, MUCK OFF, PINKBIKE, CHEK TV, BIKE MAG, PEDAL MAG, GLACIER MEDIA

      For More information: http://www.bcbikerace.com

    • #120324

      BC Bike Race, day 1

      BC Bike Race 2013: Day 1
      Cumberland BC

      Words: Harlan Price

      Photos: Margus Riga, Dave Silver, Erik Peterson, Todd Weselake

      “Tropical hot!” weather has smothered the racers on the opening day of the 2013 BC Bike Race Presented by Harbour Air, BC Ferries and Shimano. With temperatures pushing 28 celcius (90º) and the humidity soaring, race co-founder Dean Payne describes day one of the BCBR as the hottest and most humid on record. “The past two weeks of rain saturated the ground and now the moisture is just rising out of the ground. I’ve never sweated so much in my life.” It’s a stark contrast to the 2012 edition of the race that saw the wettest weather of the the race’s history. From the smiles stuck to the racers faces at the finish line, the sunshine and heat are the preferred conditions for riding the technical singletrack the BCBR is famous for.

      It was a stage for regional riders Kris Snedden (Kona) and Neil Kindree (Specialized/Corsa Cycles) who took first and second after a day of a three man Kona tag-team that worked over last years winner, Kindree. Kona rider Spencer Paxson managed to overcome an early crash to earn a step up onto the third step, but it was Cory Wallace (Kona) who added to the already sweltering heat with an early attack that put Kindree on the defensive. The Kona team tactics probably shouldn’t have been a surprise to last years champion after he played it safe in 2012 and waited till late in the race week to show his true cards. There will be no rest for the foxy strategist this year.

      Day one also proved to be full of early fireworks in the Open Women’s race as last years winner Wendy Simms of Kona had no chance to catch a moment in the shade with Kim Hurst (Mud Cycles) of New Zealand hungry for a chance to unseat the Queen of Lean. Hurst had Simms against the ropes on the initial climbs up to the Forbidden Plateau before getting bested in the singletrack. Unfortunately a directional misstep put Hurst back at the finish line 2 minutes coming into the finish line. Simms should take note and prepare herself for the game Hurst is ready to play. “I’m really looking forward to a long hard week of riding.” Apparently Hurst is no stranger to competition and 2013 is her second comeback after being Junior National Champion of Great Britian in 1995, 96 and 97. In 2006 she returned to racing and managed 3rd at Britian’s Elite National Championships before giving up mountain biking again for five years. Third place finisher Trish Grajczyk of Deadgoat Cycling finished another five minutes back to take the third podium spot.

      As usual there are a cast of characters searching for the legendary “Ultimate Singletrack Experience”. Mountain Bike Hall of Fame Inductee Joe Murray and his teammate Robert Woerne took the second spot on the podium in the Team of two 80 Veterans category. Sitting a solid nine minutes above second is the winners of Mafia Racing, Andy Rigel and Jeff Beltramini. Rocky Mountain Rider Wade Simmons and his partner, the winner of Wade’s Excellent Adventure, Carlos Zavarce, finished with Wade sprinting and high fives.

      Last year’s Enduro winner Andreas Hestler (Rocky Mountain Bicycles) suffered a flat on stage one and Kris Snedden managed to take the overall on the day despite losing Stage 1 of the Redbull Enduro to Eric Goss (East Infection 2). Goss might have his eye on the Enduro overall since he seemed to use a proven strategy for domination by relaxing a little in between the enduro stages. Day one gives little away but as the week unfolds and riders acclimate to the singletrack riding, anything can happen. The story is in the progress of the days and the many factors each rider has to deal with.

      A new feature of the BC BIke Race this year is the addition of a Cheer Zone at special sections of the course. Spectators will be shuttled to watch, cheer, and egg on tired racers and front runners come through the forest. The Cheer Zone also gives an inside look at how other people handle trails they might ride all the time. With music and Brett Tippie at the mic every cheer zone is gonna shatter the silence of the forest and add a boost to legs looking for the finish line.

      Today’s introduction to the trails of the BC Bike Race might of been hot but it had to be a relief to finally start the journey after the amount of preparation and sacrifices every racer endured to get to the start line. Day Zero had a calming effect on everyone’s nerves after a smooth registration process at the Argyle Secondary School in North Vancouver, located at the base of Mount Fromme, home of the famous North Shore trails. Riders had an opportunity to be distracted from the upcoming race while sitting in the shade with perfect skies watching 120 of the regions young groms racing in the Adera Kids Race. Mountain Bike legend Brett Tippie called the kids race like an auctioneer announcing the Kentucky Derby. Tippie will be with the event for the rest of the week keeping people’s energy high as the days and exhaustion build.

      The first of four ferry rides over the Pacific Ocean to Vancouver Island gave riders a feel for the world of water and mountains that British Columbia is famous for. After departing from the BC Ferries boat the final bus ride to the open arms of the town of Cumberland is a welcoming opportunity to rest in a true island town. With a mainstreet short enough to walk in ten minutes and Dodge City Cyles smack in the center of town under the legendary Riding Fool Hostel, Cumberland is truly a rider’s town. If it wasn’t for Cumberland’s distinctive minning history, the fresh local food and good coffee shops of the small downtown could fool someone into thinking they were in a european village.

      The BCBR and North Shore experience has to be an eye opener to the 85% of racers who have never touched their tires to the singletrack of the BC Bike Race. As usual countries from around the world are well represented with over 26 different nationalities. Possibly the most amazing coincidence in the history of the BCBR are the 126 riders from Mexico who have stormed the race. Completely without a central organizing force, somehow the bug hit Mexico and groups from Guadalajara, Tabasco, and Mexico city are finding themselves with a lot more native speakers than they expected in a country far away. A full 20% of the race is Spanish speaking this year but the laughter rising from these groups is a universal sound and they are bringing a great vibe to the 2013 edition.

      Despite the heat and the journey ahead racers have full support to help them cross the finish line in Whistler on the final day. An addition to this years event to help racers make the finish line is Yoga with Ryan Leech. Every afternoon he will be holding a cycling specific session and as evidenced by the 240 participants who showed up to be lead by the trials riding legend on Day One, it’s a welcome inclusion.

      Stay tuned for day two which moves early in the morning to Campbell River for more singletrack with less climbing. The heat is expected to continue to rise and riders will need to stay within their limits to keep themselves flowing through the trails. The adventure has just started and how it plays out won’t really come into focus until midweek when the racers training and stamina starts to shine through. Welcome to the adventure that is the BC Bike Race.

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    • #120325

      BC Bike Race, day 2:

      BC Bike Race 2013 Day 2
      Campbell River
      Words: Harlan Price
      Photos: Margus Riga, Dave Silver, Eric Peterson, Todd Weselake

      The BC Bike Race takes Canada Day Seriously and showed the world through it’s international riders what they Canadian’s have to be proud about. A trail network that seems boundless. Day Two of the BC Bike Race Presented by CLIF Bar rolled into the town of Campbell River with its merry travelers after an early departure from the quite streets of Cumberland. Originally renowned for it’s Salmon fishing, the trails of the now famous Snowden Demonstration Forest surrounding the town saw a different type of angling as riders got hooked on a new trail experience. Less climbing and more speed had riders pumping and flowing their way back to base camp at Willow Point Park. For Day Two the sun continued to shine on the race but the old growth forest kept racers cool beneath it’s verdant canopies. With trails like Lost Frog, Mudhoney Pass and Boxed Lunch, it seems British Columbia’s most vibrant industry is the production of trails worth traveling the world to ride.

      There are no separate courses for elite riders or for the weekend adventurers. Some finish and look at their times while others say they don’t care, but, curiosity usually gets the best of them and they sneak a peek "Just to know". To see an almost five hour gap between the first rider and the last is proof that it’s doable for many levels. It’s worth marveling at the perseverance at the back of the pack and the strength at the front.

      Despite the percentage of people who claim they are not racing there is still a serious cut-throat battle happening at the front. For the second year in a row a stage finished in a three-man sprint between the current race leader and those vying to take control. Essentially tying, Kris Snedden (Kona) and Neil Kindree (Specialized/ Corsa Cycles) sprinted across the line for the same time after a drag-strip show of power over a wheel sucking stretch of grass. Spencer Paxson (Kona) held the wheels of the two riders till almost the end but finished a second behind the dueling duo. Matt Hadley riding for Xprezo pulled in seven seconds behind and the red-bearded Dane, Erik Skovgaard (Racing29ers), held tight all day and even lead through sections of the trail Mudhoney, only to fade 45 seconds in the end.

      The men’s race really shifted to team tactics when race leader Snedden burped a tire. His teammates Cory Wallace and Paxson were in the group with Skovgaard, Hadley, and last years champion Kindree. When it was apparent Snedden was catching back up, Wallace waited for Snedden and proved his brass by working to bring him back towards the lead group for 15 or 20 minutes to the start of the first Enduro Stage. Snedden gapped wallace and made his way back to his main adversaries. Paxson, Wallace and Snedden played a classic "Zone Defense" according to the American Paxson. "Cory Drilled it probably harder than I would have gone by myself." Kindree is definitely continuing to be a marked man.

      Wendy Simms brought Kona their third podium of the day with a Kim Hurst (Mud Cycles) and Trish Grajczyk (Deadgoat Racing) trailing in five and 11 minutes back. Simms switched back to her dual suspension for the rest of the week after thinking her lack of training would be boosted by a hardtail on day one. It’s the Women’s race that represents the most countries in the top five with riders from New Zealand, Switzerland, Norway and Canada showing how international the BC Bike Race has become.

      Tomorrow the race visits Powell River for the the fourth time in BCBR history. Situated on the banks of the Georgia Straight, this stage has become one of the riders favorites. Last year racers were greeted with bagpipes and the town ringing cowbells as they departed the BC Ferries and walked to camp. Andreas Hestler, BCBR’s Media captain sees Powell River as another jewel in the week for the riders "The community is really into it, the trails are amazing, and it’s an incredible base camp sitting right on the beach. It’s the triangle of power." It’ll be a full body workout despite the deceptively small amount of climbing on the course profile. No matter how the day goes for racers they’ll have an opportunity to rest their legs and minds while watching the sun set from their tents.

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    • #120326

      BC Bike Race, day 3:

      BC Bike Race 2013 Day 3
      Powell River
      Kindree, Simms on The Top Step

      Words: Harlan Price
      Photos: Margus Riga, Dave Silver, Todd Weselake, Erik Peterson

      Day Three presented by Harbor Air, the founding sponsor of the BC Bike Race, has officially landed on the Sunshine Coast. Even though the host town Powell River is technically connected to the mainland, only a boat or seaplane is gonna get the race here due to the rugged terrain and two deep fjords. Once home to the largest pulp mill in the world, Powell River today played host to 550 of the worlds most adventurous mountain bikers. Stage three introduced riders to a complete study of that decomposed mixture of vegetation and dirt called loam. With only 755m of climbing riders had an opportunity to rest the legs for the ascents coming in the later stages, but it was the upper bodies and a rider’s line choice that were tested by the unique style of trails hidden in these dark forests.

      Some people are on a riding vacation, but today’s winner Neil Kindree (Specialized/ Corsa Cycles) isn’t concerned about the scenery. This is a race for proof of local dominance. He finally got a stage win by putting in a late attack that stuck. He only managed to pull back 29 seconds from overall race leader Kris Senddon (Kona), on a 58 second deficit. A place like British Columbia proves that trail skills and an engine are important and both riders have each quality in spades. "Kris strung it out in the first enduro, but I managed to get a gap on the fire road. When I saw I had about 20 seconds I decided to just keep going for it." was how Kindree described his move. The stoicism of Kindree can make it hard to gauge his level of excitement but he is known to keep his game plans close to his chest. An attempt to learn more about his day and how he sees the race progressing was met with a quick "It’s confidential" and a smile.

      One standout rider in the solo men’s category today was Erik Skovgaard (Racing29er) of Denmark who sprinted to take Sneddon at the line for 2nd place. Despite his homeland being relatively flat he is quickly adapting to the roots, rocks, and loam of the BC Bike Race. It turns out his loss of time in stage two was due more to a soft rear tire than a low tank. If Skovgaard keeps this pace up he might soon be sitting much closer to the podium than anyone thought. Overall the men’s top five shuffled quite a bit today with third, fourth, and fifth moving around. Matt Hadley of team Xprezo put himself in third with a strong ride today while Skovgaard’s effort pulled him up to fourth. Spencer Paxson drifted back to fifth after loosing some momentum later in the race despite hanging with the leaders through RedBull Enduro 1.

      In the women’s open category Wendy Simms (Kona) continues to curate a cautious dominance from the front. The second place and cheerful New Zealander Kim Hurst (Mud Cycles) hasn’t let the time back bother her and her love for the trails is showing through. Hurst was just under four minutes back today while third place finisher Trish Grajczyk (Deadgoat Racing) keeps her time behind Hurst at a minor threat level of only a couple more minutes. A misstep by any of these women could quickly erase any time cushion they have slowly been building over the past three days.

      One category that has a long history of hard fought battles is in the Team of Two Open men. The BC Bike Race was originally conceived of as a team event and the first few years you had to have a partner to do the race. Today was won by Rocky Mountain Bicycles riders Greg Day and Kevin Calhoun and in the process they earned back over four minutes of their 9 minute deficit to German BIke Magazine riders Christoph Listmann and Michael Anthes. Last year Day and Calhoun were on different Rocky Mountain teams fighting for the same podium steps. For 2013 they have been struggling together to have a stage without mishaps. Greg started the BCBR with a stomach virus and spent most of stage two being sick in the bushes, but it was Kevin’s destroyed derailleur hanger towards the end of that stage that really put them in a deficit to the current overall leaders. Despite being less than 100%, Day and Calhoun have started chipping away at the lead of the two Germans today. A major element of success at a stage race is to keep the mind and body healthy and to try and do that with a teammate makes the team’s success twice as difficult. It’s part of the bonding experience; to watch yourself or your partner suffering and to either have to be the caregiver or taker. It’s one thing to quietly absorb your own lows and difficulties but to do that for a partner isn’t easy on either teammate. Calhoun and Day have known each other for years and it shows in their teamwork in every stage.

      This is the third year of the RedBull Enduro "Race within the race" at the BC Bike Race. Designed to give riders with a different skill-set an opportunity to show-off a little to their fellow competitors who crush them on the climbs but are weak in the technical. The Enduro is drawing out new riders and changing some of the bike set-ups that are brought to the race. Last year maybe 10-20% of bikes were equipped with dropper posts while a quick walk around the bike pits this year reveals a split much closer to half. Fox Racing Shox showed up this year with a van and a load of their dropper posts to lend out to riders who are looking to try one. With bikes designed more for enduros it’s only natural that riders are arriving with the skills suited to the race.

      Austrailian Jacalyn Schapel (LiveGiant Austrailia) who was leading the women’s enduro category going into today’s stage isn’t even on the radar for the women’s overall. An enduro and super-d specialist in her home country, Schapel came to BC because of the reputation of the stage race for having excellent trail. "Having the enduro in the stage gave me something to look forward to and breaks it up and it is good to have a carrot to chase." We hope to see Schapel rip up the enduro stages all the way to Whistler.

      In the men’s category Kris Sneddon is holding on to the top spot but it is riders like Eric Goss (East Infection 2) who is in 5th place on the enduro category but 37th in the general classification that are fully embracing the opportunities the enduro category is providing. As the week rolls on and new friendships develop, the enduro gives riders an extra opportunity for some friendly competition. It’s another topic for conversation to fill the afternoon while recovering for the upcoming stage.

      Day Four Presented by Ryders Eyewear leaves from Earls Cove after an early ferry ride. At 61km it’s the longest stage of the race and it has climbing to match. Fortunately the Klein Lake and Ruby Lake Trail Networks will keep the riders minds entertained. Some lengthy enduro stages are coming up so expect to see a lot of shifting in categories at the end of the day. Beautiful weather is in the forecast and the groove of the BC BIke Race is kicking into high gear as the racers are finding their comfort zone in the traveling circus that has invaded the Sunshine Coast. The race is nearing it’s halfway point and riders are starting to understand the reality of what this new world is they have thrown themselves into.

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    • #120327

      WOW!

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