As a deep marine layer of moisture settles into the BC corridor, Kona Endurance Team riders Cory Wallace and Spencer Paxson have journeyed to Cumberland on Vancouver Island for the 10th edition of the famous BC Bike Race. The two riders aim to carry on Kona’s storied history with the seven-day race, from the legendary days when the race lasted 30 hours and Barry Wicks and Kris Sneddon dominated the team division. Today, the race has become a bit more refined, mainly to cater to the broader spectrum of riders who participate. However, the race still offers an inspiring challenge. Over 600 racers from 36 nations will cover 300 km of rugged terrain from Vancouver Island to the Sunshine Coast, finishing in Whistler. The days may be shorter, but at the front end, that also means the pace is faster.
Wallace will be a rider to watch. After a globe-trotting winter and springs from 24-Hour World Championships in New Zealand in February followed by over three months racing through Asia, Wallace will be looking to put lots of deep form to work. He has spent the last two weeks fine tuning at his home town in Jasper, Alberta, and should be firing on all cylinders.
Paxson arrived fresh off the boat from the World Championships in Czech Republic, ready to seek some redemption at BC, where he has finished runner-up three years in a row. Will the fourth year be the charm?
“We’re fired up to be here,” says Paxson. “This is always a special event to be a part of, and I’m looking forward to what looks to be a pretty wet, tough-guy forecast. There’s a good group of heavy hitters here this year, so it’ll be exciting to go for it.”
Both Cory and Spencer will be racing their new Hei Hei Race carbons equipped with the new XT Di2 from Shimano. MRP Loop suspension and Maxxis tires will work to soak up all 300km of roots and rocks.
Check back on the COG for race updates. Stage 1 kicks off tomorrow in Cumberland with 45km and 1,100m of climbing.