By Andrew Mitchell
The inaugural B.C. Bike Race got underway in Victoria on
Canada Day and will wrap up in Whistler Saturday, July 7 after covering roughly
525 km of road, gravel trails and singletrack on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine
Coast, and Sea to Sky.
The first stage was roughly 112 km, finishing in the
Cowichan Lake District. The Trek Volkswagen Mountain Bike Team, Chris Eatough
and Jeff Schalk, posted the fastest time of four hours, 22 minutes and 32
seconds for the stage — just five seconds ahead of Rocky Mountain Bikes’
Andreas Hestler and Kevin Calhoun. In third, with a time of 4:24:46, were
Manuel Prado and Jason First, riding for La Ruta de los Conquistadores and
Sho-Air. La Ruta is one of the toughest three-day stage races in the world, and
is a partner of the B.C. Bike Race.
From Whistler, Team Chromag-Sram — Julian Hine and Kevin
Phelps — placed seventh out of 35 teams in the Men’s Open category with a
time of 5:06:28.
On the women’s side, Karen Eller and Carolin Rahner of Scott
/ Trenga took a solid lead with a time of 5:35:30. North Vancouver’s Cynthia
Young and Michelle Newton of Shore Girls Don’t Cry, were second in 5:45:45,
while the Jenerators, Jennifer Keefer and Jen Sawrenko, were third in 6:12:35.
The Whistler team of Emmat Smith and Sarah O’Bryne were
fourth in 6:20:31.
In the Mixed category, Lesley Clements and Matthew Bodkin of
Whistler placed second in 5:06:24, just three minutes back of the lead time set
by David Harris and Lynda Wallenfels. Third place belonged to Hillary Harrison
and Ryan Watts of Pemberton, finishing the first day in 5:20:47.
In the Veterans 80 category (combined age), the team of Rod
Dagneau and Whistler’s Mike Charuk was fourth in 5:18:23. Keith McIvor and
Kevin Smith were ninth in 5:35:16, Paul Nicholas and Henric Meldgard were 17
in 6:08:41, and Greg McDougall and Graeme Fitch were 18
Day two was 115 km, and took riders further north, to Port
In Men’s Open, Eatough and Schalk built up their lead to
almost six minutes, with a total two-day time of 8:56:38. Hestler and Calhoun
remained in second with a time of 9:02:40, while Prado and First held onto
third place, but dropped back considerably with a time of 9:42:24.