The final stage of the 2010 TR3 took riders from the civilized surroundings of Elkford, BC deep into the wilds of the Canadian Rockies and represented the last chance for the closely bunched top riders in the Open Men’s Division to move up in their divisions and grab more of the UCI points and Cash on offer.
Having split the first two stages, Max Plaxton (Shoair/Specialized) and Cory Wallace (KONA) were battling with Adam Craig for the overall title with everything to ride for on Stage 3. The race had three distinct stages, a long rolling approach climb followed by a sheer 1000-plus metre grind up to the day’s high point at the crossing of the Great Divide and finally a raw, steep and technical 15km descent to the finish line.
Off the start, pace groups quickly formed to better check of the 40+ km until the steepest sections began. Plaxton, Craig and Wallace rode together until the 35km mark when Wallace and Plaxton upped the tempo dropping Craig just a couple of km before the second feed station. They rode and pushed together up the climb but disaster struck Wallace on the roughest early part of the technical descent when he cut the sidewall on his lightweight tubeless tire and had to stop for an emergency trailside repair. “I was worried the whole time on the descent and thought about stopping to put tubes in my tires,” said Wallace.
Wallace was able to hold off a rapidly closing Matt Hadley (Canadian National Team) to grab second place in a time of 3:35:10. He also moved up to second place in the overall standings when Adam Craig also struggled and ended up finishing 4th, 12 minutes behind Wallace but grabbed third in the overall standings. The top five was filled out by Matt Hadley in 4th and Carl Decker (Team Giant) in 5th.