With two more exciting stages in the books the 2016 BC Bike Race is past the halfway point, as it heads towards Whistler for the final day. Here’s a look back at all the action from over the weekend.
See the stage 3 video here, course profile here, and final results here.
First up was stage 3, a testing 36-mile ride on the Sunshine Coast with 5246 feet of climbing. Average finishing time was just a shade over 5 hours.
It was probably the constant swing of the morning weather and the day with the longest mileage of the race that induced the most anxiety for riders on stage 3 of the BC Bike Race, presented by Ryders Eyewear. Sunshine and thunderstorms accompanied the 30-minute drive to the Saltery Bay Ferry Terminal where racers would be taking Harbor Air Float planes, BC Ferries, and Water Taxis to travel across the Bay.
Once transport was done, it was time to race. A warm wet rain did accompany the riders out of Earls Cove for the first 10 minutes along their journey which started with a long climb on the Suncoaster Trail. The sun quickly emerged to accompany them the rest of their way to their ultimate destination: the new basecamp at Kinnikinnick Park in the traditional stopover town of Sechelt.
Long climbs were accented by punchy pitches that forced some to walk while others grunted it out. The pot of gold at the top was a steady trail descent to the finish that rewarded anyone who had enough leg juice left to whip the loamy corners into frothy peaks of fun.
The race times ranged from 3-7 hours with the average time just over 5 hours. No matter where you ended your day the course asked for all you had to give. Quinn Moberg (Rocky Mountain ) won the stage in 2:59 and survived attacks from his competitors and he bluntly labeled the day as “damn hard.” In contrast, the 7:16 finishing time of Arnold Dagdgan of the Philippines, was no less of an effort that required an aid station at the right spot and a strong will to not quit.
“I was this close to not continuing, but after I passed the second station going to the climb I decided to continue, and I enjoyed all the downhills after that. It was a big reward. I never seen a downhill as long as that,” said Dagdgan
Moberg, a Squamish native, fought hard through attacks from the European contingency and the other local Cory Wallace (Kona Bikes) to take the top spot. “It started pretty full gas on the first climb. Some of the Europeans were just drilling it. Going basically as hard as I could. In the Singletrack the North Americans got away and we just drilled it. Basically riding as hard as I could,” said Moberg
An unfortunate slow rear-wheel leak for Wallace negated the strong efforts he made on the Frogger climb and sent him to a sixth place finish on the day. In the process he lost his leaders jersey to Stephen Ettinger (Rider Bike Alliance/ Focus Bikes) who took second in the sprint finish to Moberg. Last year’s second place finisher Spencer Paxson ( Kona Bikes ) crossed the line in third.
In the women’s open, Kelli Emmett (Juliana / SRAM / Lululemon) ran part of the course on her way to another first place after she forgot to include a quick-link in her daily survival kit. It was an unusual oversight from a veteran rider. “I always have one and it was one of those days when you just make a dumb mistake,” she said. As a result this enduro specialist had to run, scoot, or coast down the last 7km descent.
Sammi Runnels ( Rider Bike Alliance ) worked her way to another second place finish while Kaysee Armstrong (LIV Giant) took full advantage of the physical nature of the final descent to claw back a few of the seven minutes she had given up earlier in the day.