Across the Continental Divide and into the Storm

Czechmasters get the best of their companions

There are days in endurance racing when many riders would turn back if it weren’t for the responsibility to their teammates and the support from other riders in the midst of the same test. Stage 6 of the 2009 TransRockies was one such day. An already long day turned crushingly hard with another day of rain and trails that had turned soft and rutted over the previous 48 hours. Despite the test, teams continued to press forward to the finish, most with smiles and good cheer in the face of the struggle.

Instead of the estimated finish time of 4 ½ hours, the winning Czechmasters duo of Martin Horak and Milan Spolc rolled into Crowsnest Pass, Alberta with a finishing time of 5:38:48. They were followed closely by Team Amarante BikeZone-Onbike (Joao Marinho and Jose Silva), who finally got the better of Stefan Widmer and Marty Lazarski from the Rocky Mountain Factory Team in the Open Men’s category. The first three teams who had agreed to ride most of the day together as a measure of safety in the cold conditions and the Czech duo were able to maintain enough energy to burst free for the win near the end. Behind, teams drifted in one at a time looking spent but glad to know that just one day remained in perhaps the hardest mountain bike stage race ever held.

It was a huge effort for all at the front of the field and Team Amarante in particular dug impossibly deep to snag their first category win. Joao Marinho was holding onto his partner Jose Silva down the last meters of the finish chute as Silva was too spent to even lift his head up. This was the rare day when many slower teams looked better at the finish than the winners—they were probably better prepared for the cold conditions at the top of the climbs with extra clothes and jackets than the winners went out with the bare minimum of cover.

The day had started in Elkford with hope of improving weather. There was low-lying fog but the patches of blue indicated that there might be a break in the rain that had soaked riders during the previous stages. The residents of Elkford had demonstrated the kind of hospitality and warmth that has made it a favourite stop at the TransRockies, spontaneously billeting riders in spare rooms and taking loads of dirty laundry home to be returned in the morning to riders emerging from another great breakfast — this morning breakfast burritos and pancakes were on the menu.

Hopes of a brighter day soon ended in chilling rain and thunder that hit the field before checkpoint 1 at the base of the climb up and over Deadman’s Pass and the Continental Divide. With 70km of riding still left, conservation of energy was the order of the day for most riders rather than straight competition. As riders rode down Main Street in Crowsnest Pass, the locals looked at the riders as though they were aliens, soaking wet and coated head to toe in mud.

Despite the day’s drama, there was little GC movement in the field as the Rocky Mountain Factory Team held their overall lead. The Scallion sisters, racing for stage host Nipika Mountain Resort, won their fourth stage and holding onto the overall lead in the Open Women’s category. National team rider Mical Dyck and her partner Craig Neilson continued their clean sweep of the Open Mixed division with a top-5 overall ride and another dominant performance.

Tomorrow is the home stretch to the finish line in Fernie and the party which the town has lined up for the riders. Fernie has been a part of the TransRockies since it began in 2002, and the town understands well the sacrifices that are made to get to finish the hardest mountain bike stage race in the World. The wild and unseasonable weather has made 2009 perhaps been the most challenging edition of the TransRockies in half a decade so the celebrations will be that much more intense for the teams who reach Fernie and earn the toughest t-shirt in mountain biking.

Open Men Stage Results
1João Marinho & José Silva (Team Amarante Bike Zone - Onbike)5:43:24 
2Stefan Widmer & Marty Lazarski (Rocky Mtn Factory Team)0:00:43 
3Ray Adams & Ryan Leech ( 
4Pascal De Meulenaer & Ives Verbruggen (Born2bike Team)0:40:51 
5Ryan Correy & Brian Bain (Bow Cycle / Specialized)0:50:59 
6Tom Smets & Tom Luyten (Green Force - T2)0:54:26 
7Andrew Fairhurst & Jeff Smith (Team Crowsnest Pass)0:56:34 
8Johan Erlandsson & Per Andreas Norseng (Rye)1:07:56 
9Dean Etienne & Jeremy Trask (Gears and Beers)1:07:57 
10Pierre Boivin & David Gauvreau (Couloir Racing)1:20:29 
11Netzer Quan & Carlos Sanchez ( 
12Ryan Leibel & Shane MacNaughton (Biking Skillz or Stapleford Billz)1:34:25 
13Nicholas Ringwood & Philip Richmond (Team Hayland)1:44:06 
14Westley Richards & Roger Violette (Tonik Cycling)1:44:25 
15Javier Lopez & Luciano Sanchez (Caribbean Motors Kia Puerto Rico)1:44:45 
16Rob Russell & Matt Russell (DOA)1:54:51 
17Stuart Dewar & Robert Cameron (Chemical Crew)1:56:26 
18Ian Owen & Jim Gaffney (Oneplanet Adventure)2:09:49 
19Luis Manuel Gonzalez & Rene Lopez (Dominican Republic)2:16:25 
20Peter Reijmer & Raymond Brummelhuis (Kooyman Techniek 2)2:17:03 
21Paul Cockshott & Bart Hallmark (The Pom & Limey)2:17:31 
22Mark Crook & Daniel Flynn (Tally Ho)2:19:38 
23James Moyle & Matthew Kitchin (Matt and Moyle)2:24:46 
24David Jones & Kurt Shanski (The Fishermen)2:25:14 
25Maximilian Schmeding & Ulf Neumann (Berlin Turtles)2:49:23 
26Jan Hnizdo & Wayne Brunyee (RSA 1)3:02:34 
27Chris Smith & David Warren (Wrecsam Tri)3:03:41 
28Per Oskar Jr. Ternsten & Jan Erik Søvig (Midlife Madness)3:05:01 
29Patrick Stewart & Shaun Stewart (The Pigs Back)3:05:59 
30Ross Farrell & Trevor Innes (Tasmania)2:07:10 
31Matthew Wilkie & Kevan Wilkie (Team Elkford)3:15:27 
32Richard Batteram & Reinoud Wolter (Rocky Riders)3:19:36 
33Schalk Greyling & Johannes Koen (Maplotters)3:22:16 
34Andrew Williams & Garret Sowchuk (Incyclophobiacs)3:30:05 
35Kris Binder & Stephan Oestergaard (Challenge 09)3:40:46 
36Ken Hurd & Sheldon Smart (Bikeridr)3:45:40 
37Michael Spoerri & Tobias Jakob (Zahnknirscher & Zahnknisterer)3:51:14 
38Shaun Ellis & Mike Radakovic (Vino Fino)4:07:14 
39Bruce Cockburn & Wayne MacFarlane (Achilles Heels)4:16:36 
40Frans Cronje & Juan Claassen (FJ No Fear)  
41Rob Sedgwick & Antony Britten (Team INstall)  
80+ Stage Results
1Milan Spolc & Martin Horak (Czechmasters)5:38:48 
2Thane Wright & Dax Massey (Breck Epic)0:49:05 
3Sergio Vairetto & Ettore Bollati (Dream Team)1:13:07 
4Daniel Cyr & Conrad Audet (Dalbix)1:28:10 
5Erno Dongen van & Jeroen Kerkhof (EDO Rham team)1:37:02 
6Brendan Morgan & Arthur Sombrowski (Park Place Pedal Pushers)1:45:57 
7Mark Butschler & Keith Nicoll (Tinhorn Creek Crush Club)1:59:28 
8Pat Gilmar & Franck Gimard (Fernie Blackstone)2:36:32 
9Helder Carvalho & Joao Mendes (Team Arruda)2:45:50 
10Stephen Bourne & Wayne Aussem (Team Warthog)3:05:28 
11Gary Bruce Turner & Hallgeir Bakken (Old Guys Rule)3:09:38 
12Mark Smith & Philippe Leroy (Team BVI)3:20:38 
13Scott Allan & Phil Roadley (Prairie Storm)3:22:51 
14Tom McKee & Darcy Verhun (River Valley Cycle)3:24:36 
15Santiago Ramirez & Juan Carlos Lopez (Trope Shago)3:27:39 
16Tony Timberlake & Ian Grist (Cyclelife Dunstable UK)3:50:32 
17Erik Van Oort & Richard Mills (TEC)3:59:52 
18Allan Knabe & Dennis Knabe (Are we nearly there yet?)4:02:37 
19Mark Groome & Rob Williams (Head Cases)4:03:09 
20Christian Arsenault & Mario Poirier (Le Pedalier)4:16:26 
21Sean Bell & Jeremy Tomalin-Reeves (Un For Deux)4:27:03 
22Wesley Arthur & Dan Janzen (No Return)4:21:12 
23Mark Millichip & Richard Lloyd (Team Darkside-Fubar)  
24Gary Stirrup & Ian Kaye (North Wales Monkeys)  
25James Cullen & Kevin Howlett (Team AFG Ireland)  
Open Women Stage Results
1Magi Scallion & Kate Scallion (Team Nipika)7:59:41 
2Erika Krumpelman & Shannon Holden (Velo Bella/ Vanderkitten)0:23:39 
3Giselle Weybrecht & Angelique Van Oort (TEC2)2:00:19 
Open Mixed Stage Results
1Jeff Neilson & Mical Dyck (Terrascape/Trek Toronto)6:21:53 
2Dean Irvine & Alena Irvine (Steed Cycles)0:20:44 
3Xavier Vermeeren & Mieke Deroo (Team Detrog-Granville Men)0:26:24 
4Kristof Schoonbaert & Sofie De Wulf (Detroggranville 3)0:58:40 
5Rolf Reimann & Ingrid Hohermuth (Swisslys)1:55:55 
6Thomas Schneeberger & Andrea Kyburz (TooBee)2:01:30 
7David Randall & Victoria Randall (Bavarian Brits)2:18:54 
8Charlotte Ireland & Tim Collinson (Grizzlers)2:27:00 
9Giuseppe Salerno & Milena Bettocchi (Ruote Quadre Tandem)3:00:52 
10Viktor Sundberg & Sylvia Kammerer (Sweden - Italy)3:02:29 
11Chris Jeske & Chantal Requier (Done Tri-ing)3:30:35 
12Simon Hirota & Christina Hirota (Two Wide Fields)3:38:07 
13Greg Auger & Laura Grant (Raise the Hammer)  
80+ Mixed Stage Results
1Pat Doyle & Trish Grajczyk (Deadgoat Racing)7:12:52 
2Margo Downey & Craig Gillett (Hartland Hammers)1:32:58 
3Tanya Martin & Ray Vermette (Team Loupgarou)2:24:07 
4Rick Metzger & Alison Metzger (Like Father, Like Daughter)2:37:47 
5Derek Higgins & Charmaine Lingard (Team Charek)2:59:21 
6Marion Hemmerling & Hansjoerg Bosler (Bavarian Bears)2:47:08 
7Nick Meek & Martha Tullberg (Chalet la Foret)  
8Janet Jones & Bruce Jones (Two Jones)  
100+ Stage Results
1Hans-Tore Støen & Gisle Langslet (Team Cox)7:13:28 
2David Sudbury & Robin Willard (Derailleur Noir)0:12:56 
3Garth Patterson & Gary Goplen (Bike Doctor)0:37:05 
4Kurt Anderau & Judith Locher (Poco Loco)0:43:04 
5John Engelberts & Ben Engelberts (Booster Juice)1:33:11 
6George King & Jerome Salvador (Team Comanche)1:35:28 
7Jane Hilt & Richard VanGytenbeek (Aktermacti)2:32:24 
8Andy Hodgson & Steve Salt (World Famous Team Salty Balls)2:47:45 
9Bryan Sveinson & Ross Maylor (Qball & Lefty)2:46:32 
10Don Martin & Gerald Martin (Brothers in Arms)  
Unclassified Stage Results
1Peter Turnbull & Jonathan Stenson (Gateway /Cycle Studio RT)5:53:15 
2Jon Gould & Pieter Van Rooyen (Elkford Bicycle Repair)0:24:47 
3Marcus Brummelhuis & Gerardus Glaudemans (Kooyman Techniek team 1)2:07:11 
4Andy Davies & Gary Bridgeman (Dads Army on Tour 2009)2:07:40 
5Eric Nesbitt & Michael Kontos (Very Proudly Kenyan)2:34:43 
6Aldo Lopez-Negrete & Arek Sawzdargo (Stinking Monkeys)2:47:32 
7Carey Lowery & Zeke Lilly (Specialized Kudzu Mafia)1:53:58 
8Stephen Smith & (Bike Bulgaria)2:56:10 
9Mr. Joan Febles & (Mr. Joan Febles)3:14:12 
10Almereau Prollius & Gordon Craib (Battlestars)3:42:35 
11Merryck Griffiths & Darren Ebbs (Almaden Press)3:58:53 
12Gunnar Falke & Marcus Apel (No Mercy!)4:06:45 
13Carlos Andre Santos & Jose Alexandre Vilela (Aroeira Brasil)  
14Paul Godman & (Paul Godman)  
DNSBryan Anderson & Nels Guloien (SUGOI)  
DNSKamil Gurses & Xavier Bonnard (Anglo-French Alliance)  
DNSChris Johnston & Trevor Nakka (Tranced)  
DNSFreddy Compernolle & Lieve Durnez (Team de Trog-Granville Mixed 1)  
DNSMaria Garcia & Betania Roberto (Sempre Amigas)  
Open Men General Glassification
1Stefan Widmer & Marty Lazarski (Rocky Mtn Factory Team)25:13:25 
2João Marinho & José Silva (Team Amarante Bike Zone - Onbike)1:04:47 
3Ray Adams & Ryan Leech ( 
4Ryan Correy & Brian Bain (Bow Cycle / Specialized)4:32:39 
5Pascal De Meulenaer & Ives Verbruggen (Born2bike Team)5:52:21 
6Tom Smets & Tom Luyten (Green Force - T2)6:02:50 
7Johan Erlandsson & Per Andreas Norseng (Rye)6:28:44 
8Dean Etienne & Jeremy Trask (Gears and Beers)6:31:38 
9Pierre Boivin & David Gauvreau (Couloir Racing)7:07:44 
10Andrew Fairhurst & Jeff Smith (Team Crowsnest Pass)7:21:12 
11Netzer Quan & Carlos Sanchez ( 
12Javier Lopez & Luciano Sanchez (Caribbean Motors Kia Puerto Rico)9:08:25 
13Ryan Leibel & Shane MacNaughton (Biking Skillz or Stapleford Billz)9:14:28 
14Nicholas Ringwood & Philip Richmond (Team Hayland)9:55:12 
15Westley Richards & Roger Violette (Tonik Cycling)10:08:00 
16Stuart Dewar & Robert Cameron (Chemical Crew)10:31:13 
17Paul Cockshott & Bart Hallmark (The Pom & Limey)11:12:24 
18Rob Russell & Matt Russell (DOA)11:14:28 
19Per Oskar Jr. Ternsten & Jan Erik Søvig (Midlife Madness)11:45:54 
20Ross Farrell & Trevor Innes (Tasmania)12:14:52 
21David Jones & Kurt Shanski (The Fishermen)13:19:51 
22Ian Owen & Jim Gaffney (Oneplanet Adventure)13:29:17 
23Chris Smith & David Warren (Wrecsam Tri)13:34:03 
24Luis Manuel Gonzalez & Rene Lopez (Dominican Republic)13:41:30 
25Jan Hnizdo & Wayne Brunyee (RSA 1)14:29:07 
26Patrick Stewart & Shaun Stewart (The Pigs Back)14:32:38 
27Matthew Wilkie & Kevan Wilkie (Team Elkford)14:48:56 
28Maximilian Schmeding & Ulf Neumann (Berlin Turtles)15:02:00 
29Peter Reijmer & Raymond Brummelhuis (Kooyman Techniek 2)15:22:28 
30Richard Batteram & Reinoud Wolter (Rocky Riders)15:26:21 
31Mark Crook & Daniel Flynn (Tally Ho)15:41:16 
32Schalk Greyling & Johannes Koen (Maplotters)16:30:45 
33James Moyle & Matthew Kitchin (Matt and Moyle)17:25:20 
34Ken Hurd & Sheldon Smart (Bikeridr)17:50:03 
35Michael Spoerri & Tobias Jakob (Zahnknirscher & Zahnknisterer)18:06:50 
36Kris Binder & Stephan Oestergaard (Challenge 09)20:01:05 
37Andrew Williams & Garret Sowchuk (Incyclophobiacs)20:36:30 
38Shaun Ellis & Mike Radakovic (Vino Fino)21:00:55 
39Bruce Cockburn & Wayne MacFarlane (Achilles Heels)24:01:14 
40Frans Cronje & Juan Claassen (FJ No Fear)25:39:27 
41Rob Sedgwick & Antony Britten (Team INstall)27:06:48 
80+ General Classification
1Milan Spolc & Martin Horak (Czechmasters)26:34:12 
2Thane Wright & Dax Massey (Breck Epic)1:42:30 
3Sergio Vairetto & Ettore Bollati (Dream Team)3:41:17 
4Daniel Cyr & Conrad Audet (Dalbix)7:33:07 
5Mark Butschler & Keith Nicoll (Tinhorn Creek Crush Club)8:37:09 
6Erno Dongen van & Jeroen Kerkhof (EDO Rham team)9:03:34 
7Brendan Morgan & Arthur Sombrowski (Park Place Pedal Pushers)9:36:23 
8Helder Carvalho & Joao Mendes (Team Arruda)11:00:50 
9Scott Allan & Phil Roadley (Prairie Storm)11:39:38 
10Gary Bruce Turner & Hallgeir Bakken (Old Guys Rule)12:12:28 
11Pat Gilmar & Franck Gimard (Fernie Blackstone)12:39:17 
12Mark Smith & Philippe Leroy (Team BVI)13:56:15 
13Stephen Bourne & Wayne Aussem (Team Warthog)14:15:30 
14Tom McKee & Darcy Verhun (River Valley Cycle)15:23:48 
15Erik Van Oort & Richard Mills (TEC)16:06:18 
16Santiago Ramirez & Juan Carlos Lopez (Trope Shago)16:21:57 
17Mark Groome & Rob Williams (Head Cases)18:24:27 
18Tony Timberlake & Ian Grist (Cyclelife Dunstable UK)20:17:00 
19Christian Arsenault & Mario Poirier (Le Pedalier)20:17:38 
20Mark Millichip & Richard Lloyd (Team Darkside-Fubar)20:33:04 
21Allan Knabe & Dennis Knabe (Are we nearly there yet?)20:33:33 
22Wesley Arthur & Dan Janzen (No Return)20:56:21 
23Sean Bell & Jeremy Tomalin-Reeves (Un For Deux)21:41:08 
24Gary Stirrup & Ian Kaye (North Wales Monkeys)26:58:45 
25James Cullen & Kevin Howlett (Team AFG Ireland)32:37:48 
Open Women General Classification
1Magi Scallion & Kate Scallion (Team Nipika)36:48:41 
2Erika Krumpelman & Shannon Holden (Velo Bella/ Vanderkitten)1:46:47 
3Giselle Weybrecht & Angelique Van Oort (TEC2)26:30:08 
Open Mixed General Classification
1Jeff Neilson & Mical Dyck (Terrascape/Trek Toronto)28:36:00 
2Xavier Vermeeren & Mieke Deroo (Team Detrog-Granville Men)2:00:20 
3Dean Irvine & Alena Irvine (Steed Cycles)3:01:10 
4Kristof Schoonbaert & Sofie De Wulf (Detroggranville 3)3:42:43 
5Rolf Reimann & Ingrid Hohermuth (Swisslys)7:54:25 
6David Randall & Victoria Randall (Bavarian Brits)11:50:11 
7Thomas Schneeberger & Andrea Kyburz (TooBee)12:11:07 
8Charlotte Ireland & Tim Collinson (Grizzlers)14:30:31 
9Chris Jeske & Chantal Requier (Done Tri-ing)17:08:05 
10Viktor Sundberg & Sylvia Kammerer (Sweden - Italy)18:19:46 
11Giuseppe Salerno & Milena Bettocchi (Ruote Quadre Tandem)18:44:21 
12Simon Hirota & Christina Hirota (Two Wide Fields)19:00:00 
13Greg Auger & Laura Grant (Raise the Hammer)23:13:08 
80+ Mixed General Classification
1Pat Doyle & Trish Grajczyk (Deadgoat Racing)32:02:45 
2Margo Downey & Craig Gillett (Hartland Hammers)7:12:37 
3Tanya Martin & Ray Vermette (Team Loupgarou)11:31:17 
4Derek Higgins & Charmaine Lingard (Team Charek)16:35:20 
5Marion Hemmerling & Hansjoerg Bosler (Bavarian Bears)17:43:44 
6Rick Metzger & Alison Metzger (Like Father, Like Daughter)18:23:08 
7Nick Meek & Martha Tullberg (Chalet la Foret)18:41:42 
8Janet Jones & Bruce Jones (Two Jones)21:30:09 
100+ General Classification
1Hans-Tore Støen & Gisle Langslet (Team Cox)33:41:43 
2David Sudbury & Robin Willard (Derailleur Noir)0:36:37 
3Garth Patterson & Gary Goplen (Bike Doctor)1:22:37 
4Kurt Anderau & Judith Locher (Poco Loco)1:58:50 
5George King & Jerome Salvador (Team Comanche)8:32:36 
6Jane Hilt & Richard VanGytenbeek (Aktermacti)9:34:36 
7Andy Hodgson & Steve Salt (World Famous Team Salty Balls)12:57:31 
8John Engelberts & Ben Engelberts (Booster Juice)13:03:13 
9Bryan Sveinson & Ross Maylor (Qball & Lefty)16:04:32 
10Don Martin & Gerald Martin (Brothers in Arms)19:33:07 
Unclassified General Classification
1Peter Turnbull & Jonathan Stenson (Gateway /Cycle Studio RT)29:55:53 
2Andy Davies & Gary Bridgeman (Dads Army on Tour 2009)5:42:25 
3Jon Gould & Pieter Van Rooyen (Elkford Bicycle Repair)6:00:00 
4Carey Lowery & Zeke Lilly (Specialized Kudzu Mafia)12:46:47 
5Mr. Joan Febles & (Mr. Joan Febles)12:51:26 
6Stephen Smith & (Bike Bulgaria)14:04:57 
7Eric Nesbitt & Michael Kontos (Very Proudly Kenyan)14:35:12 
8Aldo Lopez-Negrete & Arek Sawzdargo (Stinking Monkeys)15:06:21 
9Merryck Griffiths & Darren Ebbs (Almaden Press)15:34:28 
10Marcus Brummelhuis & Gerardus Glaudemans (Kooyman Techniek team 1)17:19:29 
11Almereau Prollius & Gordon Craib (Battlestars)19:03:47 
12Paul Godman & (Paul Godman)20:38:07 
13Gunnar Falke & Marcus Apel (No Mercy!)21:02:11 
14Carlos Andre Santos & Jose Alexandre Vilela (Aroeira Brasil)24:49:56 
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