McGrath and Sheppard keep BC Bike Lead despite wrong turn

Missing course markings may have been sabotage

Seamus McGrath and Chris Sheppard (Team Jamis / Santa Cruz) won stage three of the BC Bike Race and kept their overall lead going into stage four. Their race was slightly delayed after race organizers discovered some sabotaged course markings that delayed the start by a few minutes.

McGrath and Sheppard took it easy early on, but eventually followed attacks by the South African DCM Chrome Team as the race headed toward the summit of Cumberland Gap. They were also battling Team Kona's Barry Wicks and Kris Sneddon.

McGrath and Sheppard were descending in the lead when they came to an unmarked intersection - a fork in the trail with no signage or signs of which direction to take. Course arrows had been removed - perhaps by the same vandals that sabotaged the earlier portion of the course.

With a 50/50 chance of getting it right, McGrath and Sheppard decided to wait up for the second-place Kona team to arrive. Both teams decided to take a left, which unfortunately, was the wrong way. A few minutes down the trail, they re-evaluated and the group reversed course and returned to the intersection to go the other way.

They'd lost sufficient time that the two teams were merged back in with other race traffic. Switching from exploration mode to race mode, McGrath and Sheppard kicked it into high gear and edged out Kona by a single second in a sprint finish.

It was the team's second stage win and ensured they'd stay in yellow for another day.

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