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