BC Bike Race

What a week! BC Bike Race 2012.

Day 1: Cumberland: 13th My teammate Barry Wicks won a three up sprint for first to take the leaders Jersey. I got schooled. I’m not sure if it was the two long travel days before the race, the lack of a good lead up ride to open up the system or the bowl of cherries I had for breakfast, but all systems were not a go on day 1. After spilling the container of blueberries at breakfast, I resorted to Cherries and hempseeds for the pre race meal. I’m not really sure if it was the cherries or not but I can tell you now that cherries are not the food of champions when consumed before a hard bike race. My mind said “Yes”, Cherries would be a great breakfast, low glycemic, alkaline forming, carbs, but my stomach was not impressed. Cherries get a D- grading for pre-race meal.

Day 2: Campbell River: 4th Campbell river has some of the rootiest, rockiest riding on Vancouver Island. When it is dry its hard, when it is wet it is a slippery kamikaze gongshow. With the cherries passed out of my system it was go time again. Hammering up the first climb causing some suffering in the field behind felt good. Once we hit the trails it was Barry Wicks (Kona), Neal Kindree (Specialized), Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mtn), Matt Hadley (Xprezo) and myself forming the lead group in that order. I slipped off after 1 hr as I hit a slippery bridge deck and hit the drink. This only cost me a few seconds but I was already in the hurt locker and unable to claw back up to the group. Riding solo through the slippery muddy mess was rad. I knew the trails from when my buddy Simon Tremblay lived up here so that helped alot in dealing with the slick rock and steep decents. With 15 km to go from the finish I caught up to Hadley who was slipping around a little more on the trails then I was due to his training wheels (26 inches). It was definatly a day for my dual suspension Kona Hei Hei 29’r. Coming across the line in 4th, I hopped in the Kona Truck with Stage winners Wicks and Wendy Simms and headed back to our host housing in Courtenay. It was 5 star accomodation as we stayed with the Wakeling family and ate huge gourmet organic dinners every night. Fresh Salmon, organic sprouts, spring potatos, sunflower sprout salads, free range chickens, more sprouts. It was unreal. They own Eatmore Sprouts and are some of the coolest down to earth people you will ever meet. Thanks Carmen, Glen, Robin and Amanda!

Day 3: Powell River: 1st Riding the ferry over to Powell River I had a duty to do and that was to buy the Director of Race relations at BC Bike Race a coffee as we had a bet going. If I won a stage I would get the royal start line treatment in front of 500 other racers. If I lost I bought coffee for Danielle. Day 3 was my day. I got dropped in the first few km as the leaders took off into the loamy Powell River trails. Fighting my way up from around 20th I caught up to the lead group of 8 riders which had eased up the pace a bit on a gravel road section. Instead of falling into line, I upped the tempo a bit and road off the front of the pack. No one responded as there was still 40 km to go in the stage and I was a fair bit back on gc so Sheppard and Kindree weren’t to worried about me and Wicks was on my side. As Wicks controlled the pack, I got a 1 minute gap, and held it till the last feed station when I could hear the cowbells cheering on the chase pack just 30 secs back. Now on red alert I buried myself, looking back on a paved road with 5 km to go to see the chase pack of 6 guys closing. The last 5 km hurt alot, but the finish line finally came into view and I had my first W at BC Bike Race in 3 years! So unreal! The race announcer joked it was because Team Kona had a masseuse along, Nancy Mathers. He was partly right as the 75 minute massages Nancy was giving us nightly seemed to have the legs primed to go the next day. That being said, these weren’t relaxing massages, good masseuse’s are mean and put you in pain and Nancy was doing just that, but it worked. After 11 yrs, I am now a firm believer in massages. Thanks Nancy!

Day 4: Sunshine Coast: 7th Day 4 of BC Bike is the only day over 3 hrs and it makes or breaks the race. During these stage races it seems like you can have one doozer of a day and still end up on the podium. After already playing the doozer card on day 1 I knew this was the day big time gaps could be made and alot of riders would be playing there doozer cards. At the gun Wicks and I got a gap on the field, with European Guido (Craft-Rocky Mtn) and Hadley joining us. For some reason Sheppard and Kindree weren’t there so we gunned it. By the time we hit the first real hill 4km in, I was done, but Wicks had a small gap on Kindree and Sheppard chasing hard behind which set up for a really hard day for the lead 3 riders with Wicks eventually taking the win and finally getting a small gap over 2nd and 3rd place. My race was a gongshow as flat tire on the first descent dropped me off the chase group. Riding hard for the next 1.5 hrs I made it back up to 4th, then had a shifter malfunction which stuck my bike in its granny gear for the last 15 km of the stage. This was really easy on the legs but tough on my mind as riders blew by me all the way to the finish line. Doozer card number 2 was played for me, but Wicks was in the leaders jersey so that was what mattered now.

Day 5: Sunshine Coast #2: 5th After a great night of eating Elk burgers at our Teammates Kris Sneddon’s house we set out on the shorter, 2hr ish stage 5. The 3 leaders would battle it out in front, with Matt Hadley and I battling it out for 4th. We would eventually sprint across the line with Matt taking it by a bike length.

Day 6: Squamish: 3rd Today was a black day as Wicks body refused to work. It was one of those days in which we’ve all experienced where the on switch never comes on. It wasn’t cool. I road with Wicks for the first half hour of the day trying to keep him close to the leaders, hoping his legs would eventually come on line and he would drop me but that never happened. Instead he told me to ride ahead as the chase group with Matt Hadley in it was getting close and I still had 4 minutes to make up on him to overtake him for 4th in gc. The rest of the day was rad for me as I rode back up through the field and eventually finished 3rd. Having spent alot of time on these trails with my buddy Kelly Servinski I had a definite advantage. Squamish is so sweet. My 2nd favourite place to ride a bike behind Jasper, hands down.

Day 7: Whistler: 2nd I got a little too excited today as Hadley had 1:47 on me in gc and I wanted that back. Sprinting off the line I got a big gap on the field, then blew up on the climb going up the skihill and fell back quite a few spots with Hadley now ahead. Unfortunately for some other riders, they overblew a turn at the top of the climb by 50 ft, which was just enough for me to catch back on and retry to drop Hadley. This worked for good this time. Making the day a little more interesting was passing race leader Neal Kindree on the side of the trail with a flat tire. In the past Kindree never packed C02’s with him to fix flats, so I was worried for him, but today he had one with him so I kept riding. The day would unfold with Sheppard crushing everyone as he layed it all on the line to try and defend his 3 yr dominance of the race. He had 3:35 to make up on Kindree in the last day, and he made it all up, except for 15 seconds. Tight!
I came across the line in 2nd, 1:10 ahead of Hadley, not quite enough to overtake him for 4th.

The real story of the day was our mechanic Dave Mcnaughton getting engaged to his longtime Girlfriend Thea Reynolds. Congrats!!!

Stage 8 (aka Party): We all won.

Its summertime in Victoria! Resting, eating, swimming and a tad bit of riding.

Over and out.

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