June 26, 2015 (Vancouver, BC) – This Sunday June 28th, 600 riders celebrate the 9th year of the BC Bike Race and the hallmark of being the most riders to meet on the start line of the seven-day stage race known as the ‘Ultimate Singletrack Experience’. Whether motivated by the amazing terrain of British Columbia or in search of proving themselves against a stacked field on courses like none other, the week will inspire memories and emotions for a lifetime.
Over 24 countries are represented by riders in search of podium spots or belt buckles that are the sign of a rider who has completed the journey through the seven stages of the BCBR. From Vancouver Island to Whistler the path leads them through the legendary trails of the Sunshine Coast, North Vancouver, and Squamish before the final day in the mountain biking Mecca of Whistler Mountain.
As usual the BC BIke Race has attracted riders from a diverse range of backgrounds. Of course there are the athletic bit-chompers ready to shoot out of the gate but there are also characters like RedBull Rampage freerider Geoff Gulevich, 12 time Tour De France veteran Udo Bolts of Germany, Sochi Bronze Medal Snowboard Olympian Alex Deibold (USA), and Jez Scarratt who took up mountain biking after losing a leg in a motorcycle accident and was a main focus of the 2013 BCBR movie Seven, where his take-no-prisoners attitude made him a favorite to follow on course.
For the solo men at the sharp end of the pack 3-time champion Kris Sneddon (CAN) is returning to defend on home turf against the race veterans Spencer Paxson and Tristan Uhl from the US. Thomas Turner from Georgia in the USA has dark-horse potential written all over him and stands a chance to upset the podium pyramid. We are still waiting to see a European contender come in and shake-up the North Americans and maybe this will be their year.
Without the 2015 champion Leah Davidson (USA) and World Champion, Catherine Pendrel (CAN) in attendance, the women’s field is ready for fresh feet on the top podium steps. Going head-to-head will be Katherina Nash (USA) and the young but technically gifted XC rider Adreane Lanthier Nadeau (CAN). It is yet to be seen what surprises may come from the rest of the women in the field.
Among the changes and updates for 2015 is a new timing system which will provide live finish times available on the BCBR website along with real time social media updates.
BC Bike Race has moved the North Vancouver stage to Day 5 this year. The race will be going back to Cumberland for Day 1 where the course remains the same fun, challenging, and classic stage of past years. For Day 2 in Powell River the trail builders have been hard at work and BCBR is excited to introduce a new trail to our existing course. The Day 3 Earl’s Cove to Sechelt route remains the same point to point and the Day 4 course has been reworked to remove unrewarded climbs and allow riders to access the best descents possible, such as the 7km singletrack descent to Langdale on Hwy 102.
The Day 5 North Vancouver stage has some course changes this year due to a bridge washed out over the winter, but it will continue to be a 2-mountain odyssey of the legendary North Shore trails of Seymour and Fromme mountains. After stopping back in North Vancouver, the racers will head to Squamish for Day 6, on an unchanged stage that is more often than not voted as the racer’s favorite of the week. On Day 7 there is a major change to the 2014 course, and BCBR will be sending racers to a previously unvisited area including the legendary Comfortably Numb trail. This new route climbs steeply before taking riders through an amazing old growth forest dotted with vibrant green moss and babbling brooks. It is the shortest route of the race, but it offers a big final challenge for a well-earned finish-line celebration at Olympic Plaza.
Something for racers to watch out for this year are signs saying “Feature Trail” which will be posted at the top and bottom of singletrack with new trails being highlighted or showcasing standard classic. BCBR works closely with the trail builders and clubs from each community and the postings will highlight the nuggets of trails that each community takes special pride in.
This 2015 BC Bike Race will connect some of the best trail networks in the world into one amazing week of mountain biking. The riders will travel 310 kilometers while climbing and descending nearly the height of Mount Everest, 8733m, before finally finishing their journey.
We have announced our 2016 race dates – Wednesday, July 6 (Day 0) – Wednesday, July 13 (Day 7). Registration for next year will open on July 6, 2015 at 12pm (PST).