the-wranglerjpg4Thursday’s BC Bike Race route, the second one on the Sunshine Coast, was much anticipated by both BCBR staff and return riders simply because its notorious Hwy 102 trail brings riders to a slick and swoopy mountain bike nirvana. Not a bad way to wrap up a solid day of mountain biking

Beneath endless bluebird skies, the almost 370 BCBR participants queued up for the start of their Sunshine Coast – Part II adventure; their fifth consecutive day of mountain biking in south-western BC. During Stage 4 on Wednesday, many riders were cursing Course Designer, Rod Camposano, because of the relentless climbing he threw at them. However, by dinner time, the conversation had turned to how much riders loved the trails.

Pumpkin Patch. Black Tower. White Knuckle Tight. Often, mountain bike trail names can be really good clues as to what’s in store before you commit to dropping in. After 5 days on the trail BCBR riders were catching on.

The passion and the commitment to mountain biking and trail building can’t help but permeate Camposano’s flow of conversation as we drive up to check on the first aid station. His genuine passion for creating one helluva race course comes out when he realizes that the flagging for one corner on this course has been removed.

Home field advantage proved valuable for the Kona team on Thursday’s singletrack intensive course. While DCM Chrome’s Brandon Stewart and Max Knox had an early lead on the field, the technical singletrack skills that are second nature to the Sneddon and Wicks team outshone the South Africans’ pure hill strength.

As we’ve seen throughout the week, Kris Sneddon & Barry Wicks (Kona) and Seamus McGrath & Chris Sheppard (Jamis / Santa Cruz) rode a hair’s breadth apart for the better part of the course. The finish times – 2:37:47 (Kona) and 2:37:49 (Jamis/Santa Cruz) – reflect exactly how hard-fought this battle is for top spot in the Team of 2 Open Men category. With two more days to go, the competition is unbelieveably tight – merely 53 seconds separate the yellow jersey-wearing Kona from Jamis / Santa Cruz.