Eatough and Schalk win inaugural BC Bike race

By Marc Campbell Top honors went to the Trek-Volkswagen duo of Chris Eatough and Jeff Schalk, who...

By Marc Campbell

Top honors went to the Trek-Volkswagen duo of Chris Eatough and Jeff Schalk, who not only won the overall at the inaugural BC Bike race, but also won each and every stage along the week during the week-long event and over 25 hours of racing. Hot on their heels, within 45 minutes overall, was Rocky Mountain Bikes, including Andreas Hestler and Kevin Calhoun. Third was Team La Ruta/Sho-Air, consisting of Manuel Prado and Jason First.

"We had a good week in all aspects," said Eatough, the six-time, world 24-hour solo endurance champion to canoe.ca. "We were lucky as far as we didn't have any mechanical problems the whole week, not even a flat tire." 33 year-old Eatough led the downhills and technical sections while Schalk drove the team's pace on the climbs.

On the women's side, Team North Shore Girls Don't Cry including Cynthia Young and Michelle Newton scored six stage wins and won overall in 35:19:15.

"We thought we could get on the podium, but we didn't come here thinking about winning," said Newton, a homeopath and mother of three. "We spent 55 minutes on the side of the trail with a mechanical on stage 5, but came back and only ended up losing 17 minutes. Just to finish all seven days is an amazing accomplishment."

Second place overall in the women's category was locked down by the two Jenns, Keefer and Sawrenko (The Jennerators) who finished with a cumulative mark of 36:31:03. Team Tunnel Vision (Emma Smith and Sarah O'Byrne) were third overall, in 37:52:26. Smith and O'Byrne met last summer in Whistler, the same time they both started mountain biking.

Hillary Harrison and Ryan Watts won the mixed category in 32:16:20.

The race started in Sooke on Vancouver Island, and finished in the shadows of the towering Coastal Mountain Range of British Columbia. For full coverage of the BC Bike Race, click here.

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