After two days of courses that were new, the Powell River course stayed pretty much the same from the previous year according to the map. If you had a refined eye you would have noticed a new piece of singletrack on the map that cut in half a commonly disliked eroded road climb on your way to the day’s enduro. The new trail named Aloha was a climb that mixed technical and flow features that eventually crossed a new bridge that required an enormous amount of labor from the Powell River Cycling Club to construct. The new bridge became a cheer zone with a makeshift Tiki Bar tended by grass skirt wearing hosts from the community.
The combination of a growing network of trails rich with singletrack, a beachside campsite, water that you can swim in, and a community that supports the event is a key reason the BCBR continues to return to this Sunshine Coast Destination. It’s also why this year the race was organized to spend two nights on the water relaxing before the next four days of racing towards Whistler.
Lea Davison (Specialized Bikes) and Wendy Simms (Kona Racing) continued to exchange stage victories with Davison finally dropping Simms on the gravel and singletrack climbs coming out of aid station 2. It was a tenuous lead with only 39 seconds at the finish.
“It was back and forth a lot today. I started in the lead then Wendy and Sonya and caught me on the road section. Once we hit the singletrack Wendy and I put some distance on Sonya. I just hung on for the ride. Wendy is giving me a singletrack clinic. She is so fast and so good. Eventually I was able to drop her in the singletrack climbs after aid station 2.” Davison
“I had so much fun. Today was different because it was flat single track and Wendy was motoring. I was thinking this is the fastest I’ve ever gone in singletrack.”
After a tough stage yesterday that put Sonya Looney (Topeak Ergon) in a rare funk she returned to stage three looking for retribution. She escaped mechanicals and rode strong to the finish securing a third place for the second time out of three stages.
Wendy Simms now has a 1:55 lead over Davison while Looney and Kim Hurst are within a minute of each other for third.
Three different men have made of the top of the podium in as many days. Race veteran Jason Sager (BackCountry Bikes) used his knowledge of the stage from previous years to plan an attack plan. When Spencer Paxson (Kona Racing) made an early break Sager went with the move and the two of them escaped together all the way to the bottom of the Enduro section. He managed to drop Paxson not to long after.
“I took the lead on one of the false flat bumpy sections and started to pedal just a little bit harder. Seeing if I could force an mistake. He just came of my wheel.”
With the Kona crew leading a group of ten Sager didn’t worry about getting chased down. It was up to teammates Kris Sneddon and Barry Wicks to put time into their other main challenger Tristan Uhl (787 racing)
Currently Kona is nesting on the top three podium spots for the overall. Sneddon, Wicks, and Paxson with 32 seconds separating Wicks and Paxson and another 1:53 back.
Team of two duo:
Rocky Mountain riders Greg Day and Quinn Molberg added time to their lead with a solid performance free of problems. Second place is occupied by Joerg Franke (Switzerland) and Ruben Wey who have a tough road ahead to close a 44 minute gap. In third are the other Rocky Mountain team of Christian Gauvin , Ian Carbonneau.
LUNA Chix teammates Maghalie Rochette and Catharine Pendrel continued their rolling thunder and cracked into the hour time gap over their nearest competitors. TaG Team riders Lesley Tomlinson and Gretchen Reeves have dedicated themselves to riding for fun but the years of competing on the world stage can’t be shaken from their legs. The last time they raced together was at Trans Rockies in 2005.
“There is definitely a dynamic with you and your partner. It’s been a while since we’ve raced together and it’s coming back now and we are working really well together.” Reeves. “I’m having so much fun. The trails in Colorado aren’t like this but I used to ride trails like this on the east coast in the US so it’s really fun to get back to the more technical riding.”
1. Lea Davison (USA) Specialized Bikes 02:27:07
2. Wendy Simms (Canada) Kona Racing 0:39
3. Sonya Looney (USA) Topeak-Ergon 3:55
1. Jason Sager (USA) BackCountry Bikes 2:04:50
2. Kris Sneddon (Canada) Kona Racing 2:05
3. Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona Racing
1. Catharine Pendrel/Maghalie Rochette (Canada) Luna Chix 2:33.30
2. Leslie Tomlinson/Gretchen Reeves (Canada) TaG Team 23:16
3. Mary Jowett/Lisa Savage (New Zealand) Golden Bay Kayaks NZ 3:44
1. Greg Day/Quinn Molberg (Canada) Rocky Mountain Bicycles 2:10:21
2. Joerg Franke/Ruben Wey (Switzerland) Bikle4Life 15:36
3. Christian Gauvin/Ian Carbonneau (Canada) Rocky Mountain Bicycles 17:56
GC after Stage 3
1. Wendy Simms (Canada) Kona Racing 7:34:48
2. Lea Davison (USA) Specialized Bikes 1:55
3. Sonya Looney (USA) Topeak-Ergon 15:09
1. Kris Sneddon (Canada) Kona 6:16:57
2. Barry Wicks (USA) Kona Racing 1:25
3. Spencer Paxson (USA) Kona Racing 1:57
1. Catharine Pendrel/Maghalie Rochette (Canada) Luna Chix 7:50:01
2. Leslie Tomlinson/Gretchen Reeves (Canada) TaG Team 1:07:57
3. Mary Jowett/Lisa Savage (New Zealand) Golden Bay Kayaks NZ 2:13:26
1. Greg Day/Quinn Molberg (Canada) Rocky Mountain Bicycles 6:47:12
2. Joerg Franke/Ruben Wey (Switzerland) Bikle4Life 44:02
3. Christian Gauvin/Ian Carbonneau (Canada) Rocky Mountain Bicycles 46:44