Day 4: Sechelt to Langdale
52km / 32 miles
1,508m / 4947ft
1,522m / 4994ft descending
Average Time: 4:56hr
One of the amazing things about the BC Bike Race is the people that attend the race in search of achieving a variety of goals. Some are in search of completing a bucket list item, some come for the challenge of new terrain, and others may be looking for a bonding experience with someone special.
At this year’s race there are honeymooners, groups of friends, siblings, and even a couple teams of parents and their kids. Taking the daily plunge are the teams of Russell and Braden Kappius ( Clif Bar / Kappius Components ) and the mother / daughter team, Diana Dagofer and Joanna Reardon who call themselves Jo Momma.
“This is a fully immersed adult summer camp. You disconnect from the outside world and it’s fun. The goal was to come up and have fun and we’re doing that 100%.” ~ Russell
It was an unexpected gift from her employee, Lululemon Athletica, that set the path for Joanna to team up with her mother Diana to form the team Jo Momma and tackle the BC Bike Race about four years earlier than she planned. Mom has been riding for more years than Joanna has been alive, and the daughter has only two years of trail riding in her legs. Surprisingly, it’s the technical trails that the younger one prefers, especially those in Cumberland. Each rider has now traded support roles after two days in a row where each had to help the other work through their own challenges. It was the long singletrack late yesterday for Diana and an early crash today for Joanna that required the support of their familial teammate.
Teams of two are a special category for those looking to share a journey with someone else. Choose wisely in your partner because it’s a guarantee that someone is going to have a tough day. There is nothing like being able to bond over your lowest moments; it makes the highs that much more sweeter.
Today’s course traditionally referred to as ‘Hump Day” marks the mid-point of the race and the transition to a greater emphasis on downhills and modern trails. Riders will still find big climbs but they will be rewarded with more machine built downhill trails to balance out the long stair-step efforts to the top. Today was highlighted by trails like Rio Grande, Hwy 102, and the Sprockids Bike Park.
Cory Wallace (Kona Bikes) was on a mission today after yesterday’s flat tire that cost him his leader’s jersey. Wallace could be seen riding off the front from the opening kilometer. He would continue that trend yo-yo’ing his lead about a minute up until the start of the final descent at HWY 102. By the time he reached the bottom 7km later he had put three minutes on the chasers Spencer Paxson (Kona Bikes) and Stephen Ettinger (Rider Bike Alliance / Focus). Wallace now sits less than a minute back overall from his teammate Paxson and Ettinger.
Kelli Emmett ( Juliana / SRAM ) ran away with the stage again leaving the other two women on the podium to find their own rhythm. Fortunately the course made it easy to have a good time cruising the descents. Sammi Runnels (Rider Bike Alliance) kept up her steady charge while Kaysee Armstrong (LIV Giant) held her position in third.
Under the radar is the battle for third place in the Masters Men division. Dwayne Kress has only a 1:45min lead on Chris Christie while Morten Solvang is only another 26 seconds back. This will be a hotly contested battle for a podium spot that no local wants to lose.
Ted Russo has a tight grip on first but it is the 2:10min gap between Lorenzo Milesi and Anderson Stromsvaag that will make the last three days less than relaxing for the podium chasers.
The race returns tomorrow to the start of the BC Bike Race tale with a 15km time trial on the trails of Seymour Mountain on the famous North Shore. Riders will leave in 15 second intervals and five at a time from Parkgate Park. The new format is sure to make navigating “The Shore” easier, but it will be mile-for-mile one of the most challenging stretches of trail the racers will tackle all week.
1. Kelli Emmett (USA) Juliana/SRAM/Lululemon 3:27:28
2. Sammi Runnels (USA) Ride biker alliance 3:41:01
3. Kaysee Armstrong (United States) Kona Super Grassroots 3:49:57
1. Cory Wallace (Canada) KONA Factory Racing 2:45:42
2. Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona Endurance Team 2:48:52
3. Stephen Ettinger (USA) RideBiker Alliance 2:49:02
Full results here.