British Columbia Bike Race Day 4

4 down, 3 to go

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Day 3 recap

BC Bike Race day 4: Earls Cove to Sechelt | 59 kilometers (3.7 miles) | 1375 meters (4511 feet) Elevation Gain

Words by Harlan Price

The Queen stage of the BC Bike Race, from Earls Cove to Sechelt, presented by Ryders Eyewear, is often the most revealing of all the stages: bodies begin to feel the aches, pains and euphoric effects of three trail days. The texture of the forest changes from extra lush to a crisp, dry understory.

Today’s sea-level start from Earls Cove Ferry terminal gave the climbers a chance to make an early impact on the race before traversing the upper elevations of the Sunshine Coast. In past years, this stage has proven to be one where moves are made.

The more experienced riders keep something in the tank to get over this midweek hump and will attack those who burnt a little too bright in the early stages; energy management is a critical part of stage racing. The pros at the front of the race know the knife’s edge most intimately and their calculations get sharper every year. Many things can go wrong, but knowing how to handle adversity is the mark of experience. This is a lesson you are forced to confront, while mountain biking some of British Columbia’s finest singletrack for seven days.

Highspeed tree tunnels were a highlight of the finishing trails. | Photo by Margus Riga

Highspeed tree tunnels were a highlight of the finishing trails.

Harbour Air provides the planes and teaches about cornering. | Photo by Margus Riga

Harbour Air provides the planes and teaches about cornering. | Photo by Margus Riga

Float planes into the Earls Cove terminal have become a necessary highlight for racers. The small ferry requires options for getting riders to the next stage's start. | Photo by Margus Riga

Float planes into the Earls Cove terminal have become a necessary highlight for racers. The small ferry requires options for getting riders to the next stage’s start. | Photo by Margus Riga

The Earls Cove start leaves straight from the terminal. | Photo by Dave Silver

The Earls Cove start leaves straight from the terminal. | Photo by Dave Silver

Start of the stage goes up because you can't get lower than sea level. | Photo by Margus Riga

Start of the stage goes up because you can’t get lower than sea level. | Photo by Margus Riga

Greg Day of Rocky Mountain Cycles cued up for the queen stage. | Photo by Margus Riga

Greg Day of Rocky Mountain Cycles cued up for the queen stage. | Photo by Margus Riga

Lea Davison rediscovers her flow after loosing her way early on. | Photo by RavenEyePhoto.com

Lea Davison rediscovers her flow after loosing her way early on. | Photo by RavenEyePhoto.com

Oliver Zurbruegg of Switzerland broke the top five for the first time today. | Photo by Margus Riga

Oliver Zurbruegg of Switzerland broke the top five for the first time today. | Photo by Margus Riga

Wendy Simms is a machine with a heart on the bike. She was second today. | Photo by Margus Riga

Wendy Simms is a machine with a heart on the bike. She was second today. | Photo by Margus Riga

You don't want to have to resort to this kind of ingenuity on the trail. Come to BCBR prepared. | Photo by Margus Riga

You don’t want to have to resort to this kind of ingenuity on the trail. Come to BCBR prepared. | Photo by Margus Riga

Racing

Women
The women’s open category was topped by Sonya Looney (Topeak-Ergon), a first time state winner, who was shaking off the effects of the second stage loss in Cumberland.

“Today suites me because it was hot. It’s rocky, there is lots of climbing and I just went for it,” said Looney. “I was waiting for Wendy to come around me at any time. It’s kind of stressful to be chased all day. It makes it more fun and makes you ride at your best.”

Second place went to Wendy Simms (Kona) and Lea Davison (Specialized Bikes) came in third.

Men
Kris Sneddon (Kona Racing) won his hometown stage for the second year in a row, but it wasn’t an easy job; he had to fight his way back after a flat on the first singletrack descent. His teammate Barry Wicks did a quick wheel swap, so Sneddon could get back in the race before the lead group got away.

Tristan Uhl (787 Racing) finished in second, and third place went to Spencer Paxson (Kona Racing).

Cold refreshments for riders at the finish line. | Photo by Dave Silver

Cold refreshments for riders at the finish line. | Photo by Dave Silver

Ben Pye of Shimano's neutral support likes saving a rider's day and keeping them rolling. | Photo by Dave Silver

Ben Pye of Shimano’s neutral support likes saving a rider’s day and keeping them rolling. | Photo by Dave Silver

Alone time in the woods. | Photo by Margus Riga

Alone time in the woods. | Photo by Margus Riga

It was a Ryders Eyewear day and the crew forgot to shave for the occasion. | Photo by Margus Riga

It was a Ryders Eyewear day and the crew forgot to shave for the occasion. | Photo by Margus Riga

Jurgen Watts gets elevated. | Photo by Dave Silver

Jurgen Watts gets elevated. | Photo by Dave Silver

Oliver Zurbruegg of Switzerland hanging in for a solid stage result. | Photo by Dave Silver

Oliver Zurbruegg of Switzerland hanging in for a solid stage result. | Photo by Dave Silver

Photo by Dave Silver

Photo by Dave Silver

Wherever you go there is moss in British Columbia. | Photo by Dave Silver

Wherever you go there is moss in British Columbia. | Photo by Dave Silver

Aid stations are critical to getting through the day. | Photo by Dave Silver

Aid stations are critical to getting through the day. | Photo by Dave Silver

Dynamic trails are cherry picked for the BC Bike Race. | Photo by Dave Silver

Dynamic trails are cherry picked for the BC Bike Race. | Photo by Dave Silver

Sonya Looney attacked early and brought home a stage win. | Photo by Erik Peterson

Sonya Looney attacked early and brought home a stage win. | Photo by Erik Peterson

Obsession Bikes provide mechanical support and their hours go late into the morning. | Photo by Erik Peterson

Obsession Bikes provide mechanical support and their hours go late into the morning. | Photo by Erik Peterson

Duo

Men
Rocky Mountain Bicycles’ Greg Day and Quinn Moberg captured another win.

Women
The powerhouse team from LUNA Chix, Catharine Pendrel and Maghalie Rochette continues to win every stage. Pendrel also earned a second place on the Enduro podium.

Enduro
Jeff Beeston and Tristan Uhl took the top two men’s spots, with Andreas Hestler in third place.

For the women, Emilie Thy of Canada took the short but challenging Enduro stage.

Previous stage races:

BC Bike Race day 3

BC Bike Race day 2

BC Bike Race day 1

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