On the eastern shores of the Salish Sea north of the Sunshine Coast lies the small town of Powell River, host of Stage 2 of the BC Bike Race. Following a rough and muddy Stage 1 in Cumberland on Thursday, racers made the stormy journey across the Georgia Straight, greeted at the other end by a band of bagpipes and a huge crowd of cheering townsfolk.
Day two of the seven day race saw Kona rider Spencer Paxson take the stage victory, followed closely by teammate Cory Wallace, who protected the yellow jersey after 52km of brawny singletrack.
“This day is always more of a ‘diesel mode’ day,” commented Wallace. “There was actually a pretty large group until about half way through up the Aloha Bridge Climb before things finally spread out.”
Paxson, Wallace and BCBR rookie Stephen Ettinger (RideBiker p/b Focus Bikes) where the last three standing at the front of the race as it emerged from the thick, mossy woods and back into town along the waterfront trail.
Wallace sits in first in General Classification with a 48 second lead over Paxson and Ettinger, who are tied for 2nd.
The real racing begins tomorrow on Day 3, the first of two point-to-point days. Racers will cover 60km from Earls Cove to Sechelt, following a jagged route along the Sunshine Coast trail. Full of extended climbs punctuated with steeper singletrack sections, tomorrow should pour the hurt on the front end of the race. Be sure to check back to see how it unfolds.