Source: BC Bike Race
Photos: BC Bike Race

With three days remaining and less than 30 minutes separating the first and fourth place elite solo riders in the 2011 BC Bike Race (BCBR), it’s still anybody’s race. Three of the current top four riders–Chris Sheppard, Jason Sager and Neal Kindree–have each won at least one stage so far, with Sager (second place overall) taking two stage wins (third place overall racer Cory Wallace has not yet won a stage).

So far, the racers have covered the beautiful and challenging singletrack of Cumberland, Campbell River, Powell River and Earls Cove to Sechelt.

The fourth stage (Earls Cove to Sechelt), according to the BCBR officials, was intense and challenging all around. The Epic Solo Men category saw current leader Chris Sheppard and second place racer Jason Sager wheel-to-wheel for the duration of the Stage. European Thomas Dietsch was in the running with them early on, but suffered a flat and mechanical that saw him drop back in the pack. Sheppard and Sager wound up in a sprint finish, with Sager nipping Sheppard at the line by a mere second. Sager took the stage win while Sheppard retained the lead for the fourth consecutive day and holds a commanding 14 minute lead over Sager in the overall. Corey Wallace hung on to claim third place for the stage and the overall. Yesterday's winner, Neal Kindree, suffered a mechanical and was eighth for the day, fourth in the overall.

For Stage 5, racers will have the chance to sleep in a little longer as the Sechelt-to-Langdale stage’s course had to be modified to due a creek crossing that is running at a higher volume than normal. With approximately 6 miles less to ride in the first half of the course, racers will have more energy to enjoy the day's highlight: a near 7.5-mile flowing descent to finish at the Langdale ferry terminal.

The top five overall leaders so far:
1. Chris Sheppard – 10:26:12
2. Jason Sager – 10:41:01
3. Cory Wallace – 10:53:58
4. Neal Kindree – 10:55:49
5. Benoit Simard – 11:16:51