Sneddon and Simms return to defend BC Bike Race titles

The BC Bike Race is about to embark on year eight, with 600 hundred participant from 28 countries. Racing starts Sunday, June 29 and runs through Saturday, July 5. The top contenders this year will vie for a title that begins on the legendary trails of the North Shore and finishes in the mountains surrounding Olympic Plaza in Whistler.

The battle is heating up as the top three contenders from last year's men's category return to begin where they left off: defending Champion Kris Sneddon, runner up Spencer Paxson, and third place finisher, Eric Knudson. The international battle will also see challenges from other stage race winners: Oliver Zurbrugg, Carlos Lizalde, Barry Wicks and Jason Sager.

Peter Reid, three-time Ironman world champion has been training hard will certainly keep the other top racers honest.

The Luna women's team looks fairly unbeatable with former world champion and Olympian, Catharine Pendrel teaming up with Maghalie Rochette. While the solo women's field oozes talent with Wendy Simms set to defend her title against Olympian Lea Davison and endurance specialist Sonya Looney.

From North Vancouver via Cumberland on Vancouver Island, to Powell River and Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast, over to Squamish and the final day in Whistler this 2014 BC Bike Race will connect some the of best trail networks in the world into one amazing week of mountain biking. The riders will travel 310 kilometers, climb and descend nearly the height of Mount Everest, 8733m to complete this journey.

Changes for the 2014 edition

This year's BC Bike Race includes a brand new opening stage on the hallowed North Shore of Vancouver, a place where the global history of mountain biking has taken many of its cues. Stage 2 will be a completely new Cumberland course. The North Shore's trail selections and Cumberland's reflect the new-school trail building style that is synonymous with the words ‘pump' and ‘flow'. With the trails being developed so well and so fast in all the communities along the route, the opportunities to showcase and highlight the work and efforts of the trail builders couldn't be missed.

As the week-long stage race progresses, the changes become less obvious but nonetheless important for overall rider satisfaction. The route stays on course for stage 3, Powell River with more singletrack handcrafted for BC Bike Race. Two nights will be spent on the gorgeous Willingdon Beach, while some minor changes to the Sunshine Coast point-to-point stages were made to remove unrewarded climbs and add some reprieve to weary legs mid-week.

Squamish has a new feature climbing trail called ‘50 Shades of Green' that leads to a new descent called "Ruperts". Stage 7 in Whistler will also see some adjustments to the Whistler Bike Park segment: Crank it up has been replaced by Ninja Cougar, Karate Monkey, Ho Chi Min Trail and the always favorite Heart of Darkness.

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