Kamloops hosted the 4th round of the BC Enduro series, another new location for the series this year. The race was held at Harper Mountain, offering around 800m of vertical drop with all trails offering up some great speed and flow along with some technical steep sections.
The race consisted of four stages, stages one and two would be around the 10 minute mark, stage three, a short flow trail and stage four, a short grass slalom to finish. After a hot day of practice it was evident that the race would be mostly decided on the first two stages, both of which consisted of some super fun trail, but they would also be taxing on the body with considerable flat sections in both stages.
Race day dawned and it was a scorcher with the temperature around 34 degrees, hydration would be key throughout the day especially with two long climbs back up the mountain. The total climbing for the day would be around 1600m.
After a short climb up to stage one, we realized we had left too early and ended up waiting for around an hour while the rest of the field started the course. While waiting someone heard a hissing noise coming from my bike, it turned out that while my bike was hanging out in the sun a hole in the rear tyre (which must have sealed the day before) had opened up. I quickly had to chuck in a tube in and pump it up as hard as possible as my track record while running tubes is dismal.
Stage one started off well as I just tried to stay smooth and conserve as much energy as I could as the stage would be the longest of the weekend. Things went well but I felt very tired and felt like I didn’t have much to give on the pedals, most noticeably in the flatter section near the bottom of the track. I was almost at the finish line when I clipped a small rock with the front wheel and saw the distinctive spew of sealant come out of the front tyre, I quickly pulled over and forced the sealant to the hole as I had no spare tubes after using it before the stage. I finished the stage in 15th a long way back from the leaders.
After a long hot climb back to the top of the mountain it was time for stage two, luckily my front tyre had sealed up and seemed to be holding air. Stage two started off rocky and tight before flattening out and finishing with some flowy corners that would rival Whistler Bike Park for deepest braking bumps. I just put together a clean run, once again feeling very fatigued finishing the stage in 11th.
Another long climb back to the top of the mountain led us to stage three, a short new flow trail with lots of jumps and turns. As the stage was short I laid down as much heat as I could, finishing the stage in 8th only a few seconds back from the leaders.
The last stage was a short grass slalom, not a stage that the race would be won on but a fun way to finish the race. I finished the stage in third.
Overall I finished up the day in a disappointing 12th after my troubles on the first stage. The race may have been my favourite of the year, the trails were awesome and the day was a great test for all riders. Thanks to the BC Enduro team for putting on yet another stellar event!
I now have a well earned break from racing after 6 weekends in a row. My next race will likely be in August for the NAET round in Squamish.