Saturday, July 05, 2008

BC Bike Race Stage 3 - Firing on all Eight

Stage three marked a personal highlight in the race. It was the first time I felt I was riding to my ability, actually providing some value to our team and allowing Andy to ride at a level that pushed him a little (emphasis on "a little").

Andy hanging with Kelli Emmett before the stage start (not really but we can dream).

Stage 3 start

The stage started with a road ride out of Port Alberni and then squeezed us into a single track climb. The climb was slow as we funneled through the single track. The trail opened up into a fireroad climb and it was great to feel the diesel pistons powering up the hill. We climbed well and were able to pass several teams in our divisions. It was great to be climbing with such strong teams as Cannondale-Mona Vie (mixed team) and Kelli Emmett from team Giant (who was a great rider to draft behind - scroll down). The climb leveled out and we started a rippin 5km fireroad descent were we worked with Robin and Jay from Arrowsmith Bikes to pass half a dozen teams (Robin is a part owner in Arrowsmith Bike Shop and him and Jay are extremely impressive riders. Robin won the Test of Metal in 2007 and Jay won in 2008 finish one spot ahead of Andy - I definitely felt honored to be riding with such crazy strong bikers).

The stage turned interesting with a waist deep river crossing. I was again lucky enough to be behind Kelli and witness her beautiful single speed tattoo. We passed through the first aid station and rode the next 25km with Gary and Todd from Helly Hansen. They were riding extremely strong as well in the previous two stages and I knew if I was able to ride with them things were going well.

The last 10km would finally include some of the single track that was promised in the BC Bike Race. I was a bit hammered from the long day of riding and Gary and Todd dropped us during this section. Andy being the ultra smooth technical rider I merely tried to follow his line. Easier said than done. We finished strong and by far the best stage of the race.

Stage 3 finish - huge smile!!!

Andy and Gary discussing the beautiful singletrack finish

Stage 3 80km - 23rd place 4:33:53

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