BC Bike Race 2018: Day 5 – Sechelt to Langdale

BC Bike Race 2018: Day 5 – Sechelt to Langdale

Stage 5 Presented by Shimano: Sechelt to Langdale Distance: 49km Climbing: 1403m Featured Trail: Rio Grande Specialized’s Hannah Barnes has ridden in stage races from the Andes to southern France. Some are simply a series of soul crushing climbs followed by equally soul crushing gravel road descents. Lumps of coal when you were expecting diamonds. Not the BC Bike Race. Yes the climbs are tough, but at the top of each ascent lies a diamond - a tasty ribbon of singletrack to sink the knobby tires into. “The days are shorter at BCBR but they’re way more fun,” said the Fort William, Scotland based Lululemon athlete and first time BCBR participant. The takeaway? Longer isn’t necessarily better. The BCBR team works closely with the host mountain biking communities to ensure that racers sample the best trail in each stage. At the same time, local mountain biking advocates are keen to the show the world the best of BC singletrack. That is the essence of BCBR - the Ultimate Singletrack Experience, and it’s the reason the event pumps money back into trail work and maintenance in the towns they visit every year. It’s day 5, the Sechelt to Gibson stage. If this point-to-point was a rainbow, then Route 102 would be the pot of gold at the end. This uninterrupted 9km winding, bermed singletrack slice of deliciousness drops from the final grueling road climb after Aid Station 2 and spits riders into Gibson’s Landing and the BC Ferries Langdale terminal. But there was work do first. The morning broke bluebird clear - heat was going to be a factor. Yesterday...
BC Bike Race 2018: Day 4 – Earls Cove to Sechelt

BC Bike Race 2018: Day 4 – Earls Cove to Sechelt

Stage 4 Presented by Ryders Eyewear: Earls Cove to Sechelt Distance: 62km Climbing: 1758m Featured Trail: VFR   “After that trail, if there’s one game I’ll never play again it’s Frogger,” said an American rider, between laboured breaths. He was in the middle of a multinational chain of BC Bike Racers that included a Chilean, Frenchman, Guatemalan and a Canadian. Forty kilometers into a 62-km day, climbs like the Sechelt classic Frogger can feel like salt on an open wound. That’s when camaraderie is forged on the trail though - the unspoken language of mutual, dig-deep suffering. But there is always a reward. At the top of this ascent lies, well, another ascent, but eventually there’s the loamy deliciousness of the stage’s feature trail, VFR. This international cast of riders were deep in the pocket. You won’t recognize their names. They’re not sponsored, their faces don’t appear in bike magazines, and battling for a podium position isn’t even on the radar. Pre-race registration in North Vancouver now seems like a distant memory as riders try to sort out and catalogue the path behind them. Maple Syrup, Vanilla, Cream Soda - the list goes on like a sumptuous menu of singletrack cocktails. They’re here because they’ve heard tales of epic BC singletrack and the legend of the BC Bike Race. It’s day 4 - the Queen stage, an off road odyssey between Earl’s Cove and Sechelt on BC’s stunning Sunshine Coast. With nearly 1800m of ascending on the day’s menu and after more than 130km of trail already covered in three days, leg muscles will be barking. The day began...
BC Bike Race 2018: Day 3 – Powell River

BC Bike Race 2018: Day 3 – Powell River

From full-on to flow Karl Platt (Team Bulls) steals the Day 3 podium from Kabush on the smooth rolling XC trails of Powell River before a burly day tomorrow. Stage 3 Presented by Rocky Mountain: Powell River Distance: 52km Climbing: 1046m Featured Trail: Death Rattle and Sweetwater Creek Last night as BC Bike Racers enjoyed a classic Powell River sunset an eagle flew overhead with a freshly caught salmon in its talons with two jet black ravens giving chase. Was it simply another Beautiful BC moment or a portent of things to come? Following the second stage in Cumberland, Geoff Kabush had a firm grip on the yellow jersey. However BCBR vets Sam Schultz and Cory Wallace, both with unfinished business from 2017, along with Frenchman Francois Bailley-Maitre and Quinn Moberg, had Kabush in their sights. After two days of rooty and rocky Vancouver Island tech singletrack, a little respite was in store as racers awoke at the beautiful Willingdon Beach campground to face a 52km course - no soul crushing climbs but plenty of loamy cross country trails and road spinning rests in between. Powell River has embraced the BC Bike Race with wide open arms since it became a regular stage back in 2010. It shows in the enthusiastic Powell River citizens, some avid mountain bikers but many not, who show up to cheer racers, serve shots of virgin pina coladas at the now legendary Tiki Bar, or even dress up in a devil costume and shout “Welcome to the darkness!” as racers entered an underpass. It takes commitment to stay in devil character for six hours...
BC Bike Race 2018: Day 2 – Cumberland

BC Bike Race 2018: Day 2 – Cumberland

Stage 2 Presented by Maxxis Tires: Cumberland Distance: 40km Climbing: 1191m Featured Trail: Vanilla Geoff Kabush felt right at home in Cumberland, riding to a comfortable first place finish on Day 2 of the 2018 BC Bike Race, while riders from 40 countries got up close and personal with the roots and rocks of this Vancouver Island town’s techy trails “Are there many roots on these trails? We don’t have many roots in Ecuador,” said Isidro Ponce, one half of the Ecuadorian Open Men’s team, Chivo y Gugu, as he enjoyed breakfast at the Cumberland Recreation Hall. You bet there are roots! There’s also a bit of loose rock, some grippy basalt slab, loamy sweetness, bermed flow and pretty much every feature that makes Cumberland’s brand of West Coast singletrack legendary. That’s what makes the BC Bike Race so unique; riders from across the globe congregate to experience legendary handmade BC singletrack. Each participant brings a unique perspective, their skills and expectations honed on the familiar trails of home. Some get schooled, others do the schooling. Ponce was about to get baptized in the trails of Cumberland - one of the coolest mountain biking communities in BC. After licking their wounds from yesterday’s punishing Maple Syrup descent, racers were ready for Stage 2 in Cumberland. Overhead there was blue sky and soon under the tires there would be a 40km tour de Cumberland singletrack, highlighted by the day’s feature trail Vanilla, a ripping, smooth descent of bermed chicanes that is one of the region’s most popular trails. But first there was work do. After spinning down Cumberland’s historic main...
BC Bike Race 2018: Day 1 – Cowichan Valley

BC Bike Race 2018: Day 1 – Cowichan Valley

Expectations were high as racers from a record 40 different nations gathered in North Vancouver on a hot summer day for the launch of the 12th edition of the BC Bike Race. From seasoned pros to first time racers, road warriors to single track aficionados, the legend and global appeal of this seven-day stage mountain bike race continues to grow. More than 600 riders were on hand to register, each with a unique story, many from diverse cultures, but all sharing a love of mountain biking and sweet single track, knowing that BC Bike Race delivers. Felipe Kanacri was among 25 Chileans in the house, representing 4 per cent of total registrants. “We came to ride with our heads and hearts,” Kanacri said. After the mandatory pre-race meeting the racers filled buses bound for Horseshoe Bay full of anticipation. From there they boarded a BC Ferries vessel where the Vancouver Island mountains beckoned from across the Salish Sea. It was the beginning of a seven-day journey, along 300 km of hand-built singletrack and a huge helping of BC’s soulful mountain biking culture, the communities that make it happen and the characters who keep the mountain biking stoke strong. Luis Herbruger belongs to a group of seven Guatemalans who made the trek from their Central American home, four of whom raced in the 2016 BCBR “They told me it was awesome, so that’s why I’m here,” Herbrurger said, who is racing in a team of two. Storm clouds gathered over Maple Bay on Friday as racers from 40 different countries noshed on a mountain of roast beef and mash potatoes...
Kicking off the 2018 BC Bike Race

Kicking off the 2018 BC Bike Race

The 12th edition of BC Bike Race kicks off tomorrow when 600 racers from – a record – 40 different countries arrive in North Vancouver. We are as excited as ever to welcome new and returning faces to our backyard. This year, for the first time, the race will begin in the scenic Cowichan Valley and will end in Squamish – a favorite stage for our racers. Geoff Kabush is our defending champion and will be battling it out against a strong Open Men’s field. Pan American Games Gold Medalist, Jeremiah Bishop from the US and 5-time Cape Epic winner, Karl Platt from Germany are both new to the event and we can’t wait to see what they bring to the table! “All my mates did the race and said I have to do it,” says Karl. “They were really impressed with the relaxed atmosphere and how people enjoyed it. They were also impressed with the trails and everything around. I am not new to BC but it was always my wish to experience it a bit more, so I think the BCBR is a great opportunity!” Cory Wallace won the race in 2016 but was unable to defend his title last year when he was forced to withdraw during stage 7 due to an illness. Quinn Moberg, the local hero, will get to race his home trails for stage 7 this year, which could lead to a nail-biting finish. Also returning this year are Tim Johnson and Sam Schultz. Both racers encountered challenges last year – Sam withdrew from the race in Squamish, after a podium finish a...