July 13, 2016 (Squamish, BC) – For the 10th year the BC Bike Race has come to Squamish and sent an international field of riders on an adventure into the woods in search of trails made famous by the world of mountain bikers. There is a reason Squamish is a bucket list destination for riders the world-over and it has something to do with an unparalleled variety of trails accessible from town. Today’s stage, presented by Shimano, took riders through a checklist of trail styles. From raw, to steep, to machined built jump trails, the variety left no one disappointed.
Day 6 Presented by Shimano
53km / 33 miles
1,944m / 6378ft
Average Time: 4:57hr
Today was the day a local would defeat an international field represented by 36 countries. This is where a hometown strong-man can rest where others struggle to adjust to the terrain that holds secrets around each corner and rewards precise wheel placement. Despite the perceived difficulty of the stage Squamish is always voted the favorite day of the event by the riders. It is the most rewarding, because nothing easy was ever worth working for.
This year Shimano took the opportunity to do a debut of two new products. Today they released new high end MTB shoes with soles designed by Michelin. They also had top riders on the new Di2 XT electronic drivetrain since the beginning of the week in it’s debut in a competitive environment. The top four riders were all fitted with the newest components at the beginning of the race for some of the best real world testing available.
“The goal was two steps forward on the descent and one step back on the climbs.” ~ Quinn Moberg (Rocky Mountain) Winner of Day 6
Three key components that every mountain bike racer needs are fitness, trail skills, and strategy. If you have strategy you can use your strengths and weaknesses to your full advantage for success where pure numbers may not be on your side. Today’s race winner Quinn Moberg, may only be 22 but his strategic skills are sharper than many twice his age. Moberg, who is a local from Squamish, executed his plan without hesitation by entering the opening section of singletrack three corners ahead and proceeded to flow every piece of trail while his opponents’ small mistakes began to stack up a time deficit.
Spencer Paxson and Cory Wallace (Kona Bikes) had a feeling that Moberg would be attacking from the gun and countered with their own strategy to protect the leaders jersey for Kona. A strong start fell apart at the bottom of Pseudo-Tsuga when Wallace flatted and he told Paxson to continue on when Stephen Ettinger (Ride Biker Alliance/ Focus) and Manuel Weissenbacher (Craft Rocky Mountai) bridged back up as the Kona boys fiddled with a flat tire.
“I’m gutted for Wally. It was a group of 6 at the beginning of the 7 day’s, then it was a group of 3 and now it’s down to two teammates. These races come down to memorable duke-fests with your buddies. It’s as good as it gets.” ~ Paxson
Tomorrow expect to see some friendly competition as the Kona teammates attack each other, while Paxson’s roommate Ettinger brings the Olympic ready legs to the start line. The French Marathon National Champion Frederic Gombert (CycleTyres) has stated his desire to win a stage and will be gunning hard to make that dream come true. It has been a good race all week and the last day in Whistler is on a similar trajectory.
Kelli Emmett (Juliana SRAM) stacked her lead heavily again today with a 14 minute gap on second place Sammi Runnels (Ride Biker Alliance). Kaysee Armstrong (LIV Giant) was another 10 minutes in third. Runnels took a small crash in the final kilometers while Armstrong began to feel the efforts of the week and had a classic bonk half way through the day.
Faces in the Races
Every year the Kazimirski Law Corporation and the BC Bike Race give away one entry for the race to a BC resident who has been voted by their peers as exceptional contributors to their cycling communities. It’s an opportunity to recognize those who operate with passion to make their community better through things such as trails, programming and advocacy.
“I was not prepared. I did not at any point think I was going to win it. I knew the names of the other people who were nominated and I felt for sure they were going to win it. When sister-in law called and told me I won, I said won what?” ~ McGarrigle
“Huge thank-you to all the volunteers and organizers. It’s a massive honor to be nominated for something like this and then to actually get it is shocking, so to be able to come out and ride some of the best singletrack is rad.” ~ McGarrigle
Final Day: Whistler
Tomorrow will mark a major change in the Whistler stage. The course will be a point to point race that will use more of the trails that explore a wider variety of the trails surrounding Whistler. Starting at Bayly Park the race will travel 26 km to finish in Rainbow Park. Expect a race that is slightly harder and longer than the traditional start. This is the last chance for riders to soak up the race experience before returning to the life they left behind a week ago.
1. Kelli Emmett (USA) Juliana/SRAM/Lululemon 3:24:14
2. Sammi Runnels (USA) Ride biker Alliance 3:38:05
3. Kaysee Armstrong (USA) Kona Super Grassroots 3:48:44
1. Quinn Moberg (Can) Rocky Mountain Factory Team 2:43:38
2. Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona Endurance Team 2:48:30
3. Manuel Weissenbacher (Aut) Craft – Rocky Mountain 2:49:20
All categories here.