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TransRockies Stage 1 Report, Full Results, Photos

August 8, 2010 (Fernie, BC) – Like many ski towns, Fernie has more than the usual amount of great coffee shops lining its Main Street and they were bursting at the seams with hundreds of mountain bikers and their friends throughout Day 1 of the 2010 TransRockies and TR3.

Stage 1, August 8, 2010
Fernie – Fernie Time Trial
31km – 1300m climbing

Riders were, of course, looking for a last caffeine jolt before embarking upon the opening singletrack time trial while friends and family were looking for a cover and respite from the rain which arrived during the previous night’s opening ceremonies. After stopping overnight, the drizzle started again in the early morning and didn’t let up until the elite riders started to leave the start line at 1:30. The rain was a shock to many as Fernie had basked in sunshine over the previous days as riders arrived in town and prepared for the challenges to come.

The 9th edition of the TransRockies is the first one to open with the now traditional time trial giving all the riders a chance to leave all their first day jitters and nerves out there on the trail without the added pressure of a mass start with hundreds of other riders.

The day was divided into two waves of starters: non-UCI licensed riders and teams left the start line between 9 and roughly 11:30am with 30 second gaps between each starter. The UCI licensed riders and teams left every minute starting at 1:30PM with Adam Craig of Team Rabobank/Giant given the honours as the highest internationally ranked rider.

The fastest times in the first wave were turned in by the top teams in the Open Mixed and 80+ Men’s Division along with some of faster solo riders. Competition in the Open Mixed Division was expected to be close and it lived up to advance billing with three strong teams fighting for first place. Last year’s Champions, Jeff Neilson and Mycal Dyck (Team Terrascape/Trek Canada) were nipped by Coloradans Gretchen Reeves and Cannon Shockley (Tokyo Joes/Tennessee Pass Cookhouse) who won the stage in 2:19 roughly a minute ahead of Dyck and Neilson who clocked a 2:20. In third place were Wendy Simms/Normon Thibault of Kona/Frontrunners who finished in third 5 minutes later.

The 80+ Men’s Division was another tight battle on day one but this with an international flavour as a team from the UK beat teams from Canada and the Czech Republic to reach the top of the podium. Pete Turnbull and George Rose (Mule Bar) came in first ahead of Pat Doyle and Craig Bartless (Deadgoat Racing/RMCC) who finished just behind in second and last year’s 80+ Men’s Champions Milan Spolic and Martin Horak of the Czech Republic.

The second wave of riders who started at 1:30 were treated to gradually clearing skies and course conditions which were firming up rapidly under the occasional breaks of high mountain sunshine. Max Plaxton (Team ShoAir) left the startline second behind Craig and pushed from the start hoping to catch Craig and take the honours on the first day. At CP 1, he got word that he had cut the one minute gap to 30 seconds and he finally got Adam in sight coming out of Stage 2. With two big days of racing to follow, Adam and Max worked together to the finish line to gap the rest of the men’s field with Max taking the stage honours.

Kelli Emmett (Giant) showed her world class fitness and riding skills to rage through the course passing riders and teams who started ahead of her to post a dominant victory in the Open Women’s category of the TR3.

In the TransRockies Open Men’s Division, the field was lead by Barry Wick and Kris Sneddon (KONA) who started 1 minute ahead of 2009 Champions Marty Lazarski and Stefan Widmer (Rocky Mountain Factory). While the gap never stretched out during the day’s racing, Wick and Sneddon held their gap to the finish and took the first set of leaders jerseys of 2010.

The first day time trial should have settled the nerves of the 450 riders and with clearing skies and a sunny forecast for Stage 2, riders will be good and ready for the 70+ km and nearly 2000 metres of climbing to come on the rider to Sparwood. Stay tuned to www.transrockies.com for reports, images and full results.

Fernie Mountain Bike Guide

After two days of riding Fernie singletrack, many riders will no doubt want to take a memento home of the fantastic trails they’ve ridden. The Fernie Mountain Bike Guide has just been updated with maps, descriptions and directions for the amazing trails which have been built throughout the valley and up the surrounding mountains.

Whether it’s shuttling up the access roads along the East side of the valley for some DH riding or riding the life up Fernie Alpine Resort to access their trails, gravity riders have a whole smorgasbord of trail options available for them to enjoy gravity’s pull. XC and all-mountain riders can choose from a huge range of XC trails some of which start within a few hundred metres of Main Street and all the pre-ride coffee and post ride hometown Fernie Beers a biker could want.

Stage 1 full results here.

Stage 2 Preview

Stage 2: Fernie-Sparwood
71k, 1900m climbing

After the 31km time trial on day 1, Stage 2 of the TransRockies throws riders into the deep end of the TransRockies with a 71km point-to-point ride ending in Sparwood, the last town on the British Columbia side of the Continental Divide. This brand new route will give riders a taste of more of the things for which the TransRockies has become famous: leg breaking climbs, epic views and challenging singletrack.

The stage opens with a nearly 30km climb to up Fernie Ridge which includes a couple of false summits before the final steep grunt to the 2100m high point of the day. From this summit, those inclined to take in the surroundings will be presented with vistas of the Elk Valley including views across to the epic summits of Mt. Fernie and the Three Sisters. The need to immediately refocus on riding though, as the trail turns sharply downwards and returns them to the valley floor in a great hurry on the newly-finished Porky Blue Trail which plunges down 1000 vertical metres in just around 6km of riding—the average 15 percent grade is punctuated by some steep fast sections which will test the brakes and nerves. Porky Blue is one of the showpieces of the Fernie Trails Alliance, one of the many local trail groups who build and maintain the trails which the TransRockies and TR3 ride each year.

The second half of the stage rolls up and down along the West side of the Elk River Valley never climbing more than 150 metres above the base of the valley but never relenting or flattening out. Steady tempo and smooth skills will be the key for teams working to preserve energy for the five days of riding still to come.

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TransRockies Stage 1 – Report, Full Results, Photos

release by the TransRockies

August 10, 2009 – The first stage of the TransRockies is always a little but different from the rest, the shorter distance, nervous adrenaline and fresh legs mean that the start and riding is much more aggressive than at any point during the rest of the week. By day two, when riders wake up with sore legs and a more realistic sense of their place in the pecking order of speed, the start is a little more orderly and most teams settle themselves down for one of the hardest weeks they’ll ever spend on a bike.

Such was the case on Day 1 of the 2009 TransRockies, when riders from over 20 countries headed out on a ceremonial lap of Panorama Mountain Village before turning and heading straight up for a climb of 1300 metres to the high point of the week at roughly 2500 metres. The ascent averaged roughly 13 per cent for the 10km with sustained pitches as steep as 20 per cent.

At the start, staff wondered if racers competing in the inaugural TR3 would change the dynamic of the event. With only three days to race, these riders could set a tempo which might not be sustainable for a whole week. The TR3 solo racers did exactly that, as Cory Wallace of Jasper set an early pace heading out of Panorama which no-one else could follow. Closest behind him were the second and third placed TR3 riders Colin Kerr (Rocky Mountain Factory Team) and Roddi Lega who were chasing with the leading TransRockies teams, Rocky Mountain Factory Team Stefan Widmer and Marty Lazarski and Team Amarante Bike Zone Onbike (Joao Marinho and Jose Silva)

After the epic climb, the riders traversed a high and exposed ridgeline with many short sharp climbs and steep descents. On the last of these, just before the major descent of the day, disaster struck. Wallace flatted on the sharp shale and couldn’t repair the flat. First, Colin Kerr passed him, heading into the mega-steep avalanche chute and then Roddi Lega passed him as well—had a major endo and ended up taking a minute to dust himself off before starting again.

Misery loves company, though, as Widmer and Lazarski also suffered a flat at the same spot. With the flat fixed with help from passing riders, Wallace began the chase back to the front. Over the next 25km, he passed everyone except Kerr and as he neared the finish line, he got the Rocky Mountain rider in his sights. The two riders came to the line together with Kerr taking the sprint finish in 2:45:58 to win the first stage and the first leader’s jersey. Lega rolled through the finish line in third place before the Rocky Mountain Factory Team riders arrived at K2 Ranch to win the first stage in the Open Men’s category in 2:51:32 with the Team Amarante of Portugal less than a minute behind.

While the Open Men’s category offered the tightest racing of the day, there was suffering and hard racing throughout every category. In the Open Women’s category Team VeloBella/Vanderkitten (Erika Krumpelman and Shannon Holden) took first and in Open Mixed, Team Terrascape/Trek Toronto (Mical Dyck/Jeff Neilsen) grabbed the early leaders’jerseys.

After 2300 tough metres of climbing today riders face an even tougher physical test tomorrow on the run in from K2 Ranch to Nipika Mountain Resort. An extra 30 kn of riding and 500 metres of climbing add up to a leg crushing 72.2km/ 2835m in total.

Stage 2: K2 Ranch – Nipika Resort
72.2km/ 2835m climbing/ 2650m descending

From an elevated vantage point on the bench above, riders start Stage 2 will soak up views of beautiful Lake Windermere and Lake Columbia. Those with sharp eyes might even pick out a bald eagle riding the lakeside thermals nearby in search of fish on the crystal water below.

Just as all this scenery threatens to turn the ride into a postcard, the field passes through Fairmont Hot Spring and comes face to face with the sheer western face of the Rocky Mountains. This near-impenetrable fortress has very few paths over or around, so they face the biggest day of vertical served this week with three major climbs of at least 700 metres each and a total of nearly 3000 metres on the day.

From the break-through on the third pass, point they descend via the technical Bear Creek trails into the Kootenay Valley where a rolling 10km push gets them to the finish line at Nipika Mountain Resort. The riders can roll into Nipika knowing that they will spend the two nights in this pristine setting at the intersection of the Kootenay and Cross Rivers. The ice-cold swim pond will be relief to weary legs after what will no doubt be a long day in the saddle.

Full TR Stage 1 results here.
Full TR3 Stage 1 results here.

Results (brief)

TR Stage 1 Results
Open Men
1. Rocky Mtn Factory Team (Stefan Widmer, CAN / Marty Lazarski, CAN) 2:51:32
2. Team Amarante Bike Zone – Onbike (João Marinho, POR / José Silva, POR) 0:00:58
3. visitPA.com (Ray Adams, USA / Ryan Leech, USA) 0:12:22

Open Women
1. Velo Bella/Vanderkitten (Erika Krumpelman, USA / Shannon Holden, USA) 4:05:10
2. Team Nipika (Magi Scallion, CAN / Kate Scallion, CAN) 0:07:53

Open Mixed
1. Terrascape/Trek Toronto (Jeff Neilson, CAN / Mical Dyck, CAN) 3:19:38
2. Team Detrog-Granville Men (Xavier Vermeeren, BEL / Mieke Deroo, BEL) 0:08:01
3. Steed Cycles (Dean Irvine, CAN / Alena Irvine, CAN) 0:15:10

80 + Men
1. Czechmasters (Milan Spolc, CZE / Martin Horak, CZE) 2:59:44
2. Breck Epic (Thane Wright, USA / Dax Massey, USA) 0:05:22
3. Elkford Bicycle Repair (Jon Gould, USA / Pieter Van Rooyen, USA) 0:22:27

80+ Mixed
1. Deadgoat Racing (Pat Doyle, CAN / Trish Grajczyk, CAN) 3:31:08
2. Team de Trog-Granville Mixed 1 (Freddy Compernolle, BEL / Lieve Durnez, BEL) 0:38:49
3. Harland Hammers (Margo Downey, CAN / Craig Gillett, CAN) 0:51:19

100 +
1. Team Cox (Hans-Tore Støen, NOR / Gisle Langslet, NOR) 3:43:21
2. Specialized Kudzu Mafia (Carey Lowery, USA / Zeke Lilly, USA) 0:15:09
3. Poco Loco (Kurt Anderau, SUI / Judith Locher, SUI) 0:17:29

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