La BC Bike Race si conferma come uno dei più apprezzati eventi mondiali di mountain-bike.
L’ultimo giorno, il gran finale: la conclusione perfetta per un’incredibile settimana di sfide in mountain bike, incidenti, salvataggi e traguardi. La BC Bike Race 2021, conclusasi sabato scorso, è stata un’avventura epica, sublime e diversa da tutte le altre, condivisa da un gruppo di bikers provenienti da tutto il mondo e con una comune passione: amano la mountain bike in tutto il suo splendore.
La BC Bike Race 2021 è stata una gara straordinaria in una nuova favolosa località, Penticton e l’Okanagan del Sud. Circondati dai brillanti colori autunnali e da uno spirito festoso, i bikers si sono finalmente ritrovati per tornare a ciò che amano più di ogni altra cosa: la mountain-bike.
Ma sono stati i bikers che hanno tagliato il traguardo dopo 7 ore e mezza, quando le premiazioni erano già finite, a ricevere gli applausi più meritati! Perchè questo è lo spirito della BC Bike Race!
…coronare il sogno di essere un Finisher della “Ultimate Singletrack Experience!”
“I had a great day. It’s not just about today, it’s about the journey and working hard. It’s awesome here, one of the highlights of my life”!
Bill Juhasz – Canadian
Six days of racing in the South Okanagan, seven stages of terroir-nouveaux never before sampled by the denizens of the BC Bike Race alumni new and old. This all new odyssey, in an all new location with such varied and vibrant flavours but with all the same energy and vibe, has been validated by smiles, high-fives and a solid coming together of this community.
“It was a great week out here in Penticton, BC Bike Race has been on the bucket list for a lot of years. Finally had a chance to do it, loved the competition, loved the new trails, the terrain, just being part of the BC Bike Race community is a lot of fun”!
Dan Hamhuis – Retired Professional Hockey Player, Olympic Gold Medalist
What makes a success? What makes a win? Both can be measured in time, distance and/or speed. But the true accolades come from the testimony of those who have pedalled every meter, crossed every root & rock, and summited each and every climb. These are the testaments to the efforts of the organizers who shaped this event, steered the direction and created an unforgettable week.
“I had an amazing experience, we raced in a few different areas, there was different types of terrain, different challenges, making it a really fun race. Penticton has been amazing. I love stage racing, this one is iconic, was always on the bucket list and there’s a good reason it’s iconic and on the bucket list”!
Emma Maaranen – KS Kenda Womens Elite Team – USA
Once again the attacks came early from a yellow jersey. With all its glory and bragging rights on the line, who would expect any less! Laurie Arseneault (Canyon MTB Racing) stomped her usual way to the front of the group on the initial climb ahead of Haley Smith (NORCO Factory Team). But today things would be different, maybe. Nearing the bottom of the long and arduous descent, Haley closed in on Laurie not once, but twice. Each time over cooking a corner or slipping a pedal; things just weren’t working out for her. With a possible stage win on the line Haley threw a brick on the accelerator but each braaap of speed cost her some minor mishap. The final results show a close race but only the camera caught the near miss in full focus.
“It was an amazing week in Canadian wine country, loved every single minute of it. Made new friends, re-joined with old friends, loved the trails, loved the racing, ahhh awesome”!
Eric Tourville – Lessard Bicycles – Multiple Canadian XC National Champion, Legend
Geoff Kabush (Yeti, Maxxis, Fox, Shimano, Stans No-Tubes, Pro Velocio, GU Energy) was gunning for redemption. What did he have to lose? Up the first climb he led Felix Burke (Rocky Mountain Bikes), yellow jersey leader Andrew L’Esperance (Norco Factory Team) and dangling just off this group by mere seconds was Carter Nieuwesteeg (Santa Cruz Bicycles, 7 Mesh). They crested the top of the climb in the same positions but chinks in the armour soon began to appear. What was a 10 seconds gap became a 20 second gap as Andrew L’Esperance took the lead and forged ahead to overall victory. Felix Burke, last year’s champion wearing the #1 plate, was not going to lie down and give up his title. He gave a spirited chase but it seemed the overall outcome was a foregone conclusion with nothing to do but defend his podium spot from a fast charging Kabush. The trio smashed everything in their path both up and down as they warped down the proffered trails, all making a superhuman effort to effect their desired outcome to the overall standings. It was all to no avail; it remained static. Carter Nieuwesteeg rode an incredible chase all day, solid on the up, solid on the down, but all his efforts couldn’t dent the inspired riders in front of him.
The unsung heroes of this week have been pushing hard and lurking just off the front: Payson Partridge and Matthew Fox. Who are these mavericks from the US, coming to challenge for the “Ultimate Singletrack Experience” leader’s jersey. While they finished respectively in 5th and 6th overall, just ahead of the Endurance-Giants (those who competed in both the Gravel Explorer and the BC Bike Race), Cory Wallace (Kona Endurance Team) 7th overall, and Karten Madsen (MAD Endurance Coaching) 8th overall. These two athletes, Payson Partridge and Matthew Fox certainly have the chops to be contenders one day, for sure.
Katleyn Button (Coast Physiotherapist Sechelt), Emma Maaranen (KS Kenda Women’s Elite Team) and Chloe Cross (Team Whistler), finished 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively in the womens’ open solo, and they have smashed all the trails, all the days, and have consistently battled for top spots. They have crushed all the obstacles in their paths and come out stoked to have explored all that BC Bike Race and the South Okanagan have to offer.
“BC Bike Race is awesome, it was really hard for six whole days. I had some good days and some not so good days, but the whole experience was like a 13 out of 10, absolutely. If you’ve ever thought about doing BC Bike Race, you gotta come here next year, it’s unbelievable, these guys rock”!
Nathan Killam – Moustache Mafia, Easton Cycling – Canadian
Kimberly Quinlan came out tops in her battle for the Women’s 40+ solo category. While Graeme Fitch, having finished his 14th BC Bike Race and 100 stages, finally got an overall bronze podium in the Men’s 60+ solo category. Wow, that’s amazing! John Bula and Taylor Little (Bicicletta Factory Racing) took top honours in the Mens 80+ team category, but let’s not forget that John Bula also raced the Gravel Event just before this one!
“Just finished the British Columbia Bike Race, this has been one of the best weeks I’ve ever had”!
Scott Ramsay – UK
Niente Classifiche, ma solo immagini!
Photo Credits Dave Silver, BC Bike Race