BCBR 2015 Day 6: Squamish Presented by Shimano
1944m Elevation Gain/ Loss
The Course: http://www.trailforks.com/route/bcbr-2015-day-6/
Words: Harlan Price
Photos: Margus Riga, Dave Silver, Erik Peterson, Todd Weselake
Videos: Connor Macleod, Max Berkowitz, Chris Fisher
“Today the trails here are just phenomenal they have technical, rock drops, rock slabs, huge berms that are above my head. Here you’re just rewarded every time you climb.” Vicki Barclay 2nd place today.
Local Moberg takes first stage win while Nash continues to outpace the rest of the women and most of the men.
Day 6 Presented by Shimano-
Racer’s favorite stage, Squamish delivered an exceptional day of trail riding for the troops and a kids race for the children on the the BC Bike Race wagon. This small outdoor-centric town has routinely been voted the racer’s favorite year in and year out. Despite it’s profile boasting the most climbing of any of the stages riders are routinely rewarded with singletrack that blends the worlds of machine and handbuilt trails into a trying but rewarding journey. Telling your mountain biking friends you are going to ride in Squamish BC is almost equivalent to informing your kids that you’re going to Disney World without them.
Squamish is a playground for riders of all styles and it is more than just a gas stop for people heading to Whistler 45 minutes north. You’ll find shuttle runs, XC trails, enduro ready descents, and a blend of all those flows in an amalgamation that might have you confused about which bike you should have brought. Whatever you bring, be prepared to be challenged while finding that golden glow riders are looking for when they ride.
Squamish has brought some cooler evening temperatures with a prevailing wind but the days are still hot and the dips into the woods are welcomed but dryer than anyone can remember. There is a fire ban in the entire province and ominously the trails of the first three stages have been shut down to backcountry activity due to the drought.
Men’s Solo: Moberg and Uhl find their needs mutually beneficial for a stage win and a solidification of the overall.
Quinn Moberg (Rocky Mountain Bicycles) won his first stage of the BCBR with Tristan Uhl (Competitive Cyclist) on his heals in his hometown after attacking each of the previous five days. It was a deserved victory for the 21 year old who has been brought up in this community and displays a maturity and awareness of strategy and humility many successful racers rarely have.
“I went into the day planning to get gaps on downhills and caught on uphills so I was always the most rested and always at the front. That worked out until Tristan and I got away. I attacked going into The Corners trail. He (Uhl) followed, Spencer wasn’t able to. It was just a beautiful move because Tristan rode hard for the GC and I rode for the stage. We both benefited from our efforts.” Moberg. “Winning is always special, but winning at home in front of personal sponsors, friends and family, with the whole Rocky crew here it was pretty special.”
Dave Heisler of Corsa Cycles and the Day 6 course director, an original sponsor of Moberg, was excited to see his success. We’ve been helping Quinn since he was 9 years old. It’s really exciting to see.”
Uhl and Moberg got away at The Corners and by the time they got to the Bacon Station at the entrance to Hoods in The Woods they had 3:30 on Spencer Paxson (Kona Bikes). “Those guys flat out got me. Things started out well and I was feeling good but I suddenly had lapse of strength starting the climb up to Half Nelson and just lost the depth that I had been feeling all week.” Paxson
Uhl was looking for an opportunity to separate the Kona riders and their team advantage that has benefited them so well over the years. “Quinn jumped on an attack early in the race by Barry Wicks (Kona Bikes) and got a little way up the road. I kept it steady up the first climb and caught and passed Barry before we hit the first singletrack section with Quinn still up the road and away.” Uhl patiently closed the gap to Moberg with Paxson in tow and when he saw the Kona rider struggling he kept the pressure on.
The move put Uhl deeper into the yellow jersey with a seven minute gap on Paxson in the overall. The Kona rider did manage to move up to 2nd place in the general classification. Moberg’s efforts got him the win for the day and moved him into the 4th position going into the final day with a substantial gap separating him from 3rd place.
Women’s Solo: Nash hasn’t finished delivering blows to the competition.
Katerina Nash (Luna Chix) attacked another day of a race she seems built to dominate. Stiff climbs followed by flowy and technical courses you’re unlikely to find anywhere seem to be her forte`. Her 40 minute gap over the nearest competitor turns our attention to the story to the women battling for the last two podium spots.
Vicki Barclay (Stans NoTubes Elite Women) took second for the fourth time this week. Add that to her two third place finishes and you’d think she would be on the second step for the overall. Unfortunately a mistake in stage two caused her to lose enough time to be regulated to third. Rebecca Hodgetts is her nearest competitor and BCBR riding partner they are so closely matched in speed.
“I felt really good today. I feel like each day I get stronger which is a really good thing. It’s really tight racing which is entertaining for all the guys around us. Its so difficult for either of us to lose the other one.” Barclay.
Hodgetts has doggedly refused to let Barclay get away and has proved her own ability to race with strategy and minimize issues that could erase her time advantage.
Andreane Lanthier Nadeau (Rocky Mountain Cycles) couldn’t repeat her feat the day before with a podium spot, possibly to a self-admitted burning of some matches in North Vancouver. She lives in Squamish for part of the year and has found the community welcoming enough that she was excited to race on her adopted home trails.
The gaps between the women are large enough to make it difficult for anyone to trade up positions in the overall, but it’s bike racing and trading down isn’t out of the question.
Feature Trail: Pseudo-Tsuga
Pseudo-Tsuga is the last run at the bottom of the mountain so most people finish their ride on sections 1, 2, 3, 4. It has been recently improved since last year. The Squamish Off Road Cycling Association (SORCA) has put a lot of resources and effort into it since last years BC Bike Race. The bottom of it used to be called the Meat Locker because it was chundery and the tokens left behind by riders was significant. A mix of natural and machine built trail now ends with a series of berms that are similar to the build of the world famous trail Half Nelson which is just up the hill.
The smiles of the riders indicated that the efforts were greatly appreciated by all who got to roll their tires down it.
Teal is a super-star of the BC Bike Race, but traditionally her role has not been as a rider. She started as a member of the medical team six years ago, and when she began traveling with the crew taking care of people she didn’t even ride bikes. It wasn’t until two and a half years ago that she threw a leg over a knobby tired bike seriously. She formulated a goal to do the race last year and used her entry into the event as motivation to learn something new.
“I wanted a really big goal to improve my skills and something to strive for. I just decided to do it. It’s been the best year of my life. It’s been awesome training for it and the race is just the bonus of it. I feel much more involved in the community. My confidence has increased. Today was the best day so far.”
On her journey she discovered that she enjoys motivating other riders and found herself on course giving tips to the other women around her.
“I was actually showing some people the lines which was really fun. There were a bunch of girls behind me on Hoods and I said follow my line and they thanked me for it afterwards.”
The Z-Boys of Florida
If you’ve been on course at all this year it’s hard to miss the bearded 100+ Men’s Duo of Tim and Troy Zimmerman from South Florida wearing the Leaders Jersey for their category. Coming from the flatlands of Florida they pointed out that it’s hard to get a break from pedaling but here you actually get to relax on descents. It doesn’t seem like the best training plan, but it has been working for them since they are leading their category. There are things they don’t experience often in Florida that are a little more unique to BC.
“The straight down descents, we’ve learned to stay back and just huck off of stuff. We learned here that slower is not better. You get going on those downhills you are gonna need that speed? You’re going to hit something and you’re going to need that speed to get over it!”
They didn’t mince words. “We came here to win.”
We came here for a challenge, and we didn’t come here for just a bike ride! This is the place to be.”
The Speedo Boys
Team Tall are a couple of friends from Florida who have some distinct features that help them stand out amongst the other racers. Besides the fact that they have a stylish Team Tall cycling kit, and are actually tall, they also spend most of their time off the bike wearing nothing but matching speedos. It’s a head turner, or scratcher depending on the viewer’s perspective.
It wasn’t planned but they have become the defacto podium boys everyday for awards. Elusive in their answers about what Team Tall is, they are quite happy to let their actions do the talking.
“Their goals are to finish and make it through unscathed.” They’d wear speedos while racing if allowed which might make the “Unscathed” part difficult. They choose to wear them mostly “because it’s really sunny and they wanted to sun the buns.”