Whistler Creekside was thriving with energy as the seventh and final stage of the BC Bike Race rolled into town.
370 racers from more than 16 countries have tested their bodies, their bikes and, in some cases, their friendships this week while pedaling through more than 350 kilometers of singletrack in south western British Columbia.
The final Whistler stage was a mere 30km long, roughly half the distance of the other stages in the race. In speaking to racers after Stage 6 in Squamish, many were relieved to have less distance to cover on the final day…the finisher’s medal was within reach.
It turned out that the shorter distance was not indicative of the amount of effort required to complete the final stage. Day 7 course designer, Grant Lamont, knows the Whistler trail network like no one else and took advantage of that inside track to create a course that racers would remember.
From the 10am Creekside start, racers rode up some seriously tough, steep climbs right to the top of an aptly named trail, “See Colours & Puke.” From there, they worked their way into trails like Tunnel Vision, which has some challenging sections that some riders will have elected to walk.
It was not a sit back and relax kind of day, but it did allow many riders to realize their skills progression through the week. And there was an endless stream of smiles, cheers, and tears of joy as riders crossed the finish line anywhere from 1 hour 46 minutes to 4 hours and 50 minutes later.
Each rider that crossed the line received either a coveted Finisher medal – if they completed all seven days within the cutoff range; or a coveted Participant medal – if they completed some of the stages but not all.
This year there were some great stories that developed within the race – especially in the Team of Two Open Men category. The intense battle between Seamus McGrath & Chris Sheppard (Jamis / Santa Cruz) and Kris Sneddon & Barry Wicks (Team Kona) was fun to watch unfold.
It was an unbelievable week that staff and participants are not soon to forget. In fact, many teams expressed strong interest at the prospect of returning to BC Bike Race for 2010.
The BC Bike Race 2009 Cumulative Winners are as follows:
TEAM OF TWO OPEN MEN
1. JAMIS/SANTA CRUZ – Seamus McGrath & Chris Sheppard 18:27:31
2. TEAM KONA – Barry Wicks & Kris Sneddon 18:44:50 KONA
3. Team DCM CHROME 1 – Brandon Steward & Max Knox 19:19:09
1. TEAM KERR – Colin Kerr 19:41:05
2. SCHNYDER – Reudi Schnyder 20:19:40 KONA
3. HOGGY R&R SPORT NZ – Tony Hogg 20:39:00
TEAM OF TWO OPEN WOMEN
1. LUNA CHIX – Katerina Nash & Catharine Pendrel 21:49:42
2. ROCKY MOUNTAIN – Alison Sydor & Lea Davison 22:42:03
3. OAK BAY BIKES – Lisa Ludwig & Dawn Anderson 25:13:35
1. ROSE – Megan Rose 26:26:53
2. THE BEE – Tori Fahey – 33:09:53
3. THE THIRD WHEEL – Claire Garcia-Webb 33:39:51
SOLO WOMEN 40+
1. POWER TO BE – Lisa McBain 31:36:25
2. THIS KIWI CANT FLY – Sarah Heine 39:41:42
3. VALLEY GIRL – Lori Halwa 42:13:41
TEAM OF TWO OPEN MIXED
1. GOULD – Ryan Trebon & Georgia Gould – 21:26:23 KONA
2. TERRASCAPE/TREK TORONTO – Jeff Neilson& Mical Dyck 22:52:17
3. MONAVIE CANNONDALE 3 – Sue Butler & Bryan Alders 23:25:06
TEAM OF TWO VETERANS 80+
1. FRONTRUNNERS-EXPERIENCE CYCLE – Normon Thibault & Peter Stevenson 22:19:50 KONA
2. DEADGOAT RACING – Geoff Clark & Pat Doyle 23:03:55
3. MONAVIE-CANNONDALE RIVER CITY BICYCLES – Matt Ohran & Tim Butler 23:15:02
4. KONA Dale Plant and his buddy Joe. KONA
Thanks to everybody who helped the riders who raced for Kona with a comfortable bed and and for keeping everyone fueled up for each and every race day.
Dix, Wendy and Norm to The Sneddons and in Whistler, Rob P and the great folks at Chalet Luise, Martin and Claire.