Racers ready for lots of singletrack at Canadian mountain bike stage race
The BC Bike Race is ready to roll with a stacked roster of singletrack hounds salivating at the mouth to get out and race the "Ultimate Singletrack Experience" as deemed by promoters. Day one will begin on June 30 in Cumberland and the race will finish in Whistler on July 6.
Year seven will see few changes to a course that has been tweaked to perfection over the previous six years. Each town along the course provides a large selection of "handmade" trails that have for 359 days or since the last edition received some serious trail attention; buffing, shaping and carving the legendary trails into premium condition for this the 2013 alumni's adventure.
The enduro is back. Thirteen chip-timed special segments will highlight some of the best descents of each stage. Ranging in length from 1km to 2.5km, the enduro - the race within the race - will continue to reward the technically savvy over the engine-only types.
550 racers from 26 different countries will hit the dirt, flowing singletrack in Cumberland. From there the journey will unfold crossing the Pacific Ocean three times on the BC Ferries, visiting Campbell River, Powell River, Sechelt and Squamish to it’s conclusion in Whistler, British Columbia.
Last year's champions Neal Kindree and Wendy Simms will take on challengers from all over the globe as they defend their right to wear the leaders yellow jersey on the final podium.
Kindree hails from the local town of Squamish and has been a member of the Canadian National team. He will compete against 2011 Canada Cup overall winner Matt Hadley (Team Xpresso), endurance specialist Cory Wallace (Kona), European marathon specialist Guido Thaler (Craft Rocky Mountain Bikes), Carter Hovey (Orbea), Sam Whitingham (Naked Bikes) and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame Inductee Joe Murry (Voodoo Cycles).
Hadley was fourth in the BC Bike Race in 2012 while Wallace can boast a second place finish at 24-hour Worlds in 2010 and another second at the Mongolia Bike Challenge in 2011. Hovey and Thaler have previously finished sixth and seventh, respectively, at the BC Bike Race.
Whitingham currently holds the World Land Speed record in the human powered division. His mountain bikes skills are exceptional, and this will be his first time at the BC Bike Race.
In the women's race, six-time Canadian National Cyclo-cross Champion Wendy Simms will race 2012 Swedish National Champion Anika Bergman (Craft Rocky Mountain Bikes), a former resident of Whistler.
Some favorites for the enduro competition include free rider Wade Simmons (Rocky Mountain Bikes), 2012 BCBR enduro winner Andreas Hestler (Rocky Mountain Bikes) and Joe Schwartz (Team Kona).