A pair of Whistler riders teamed up to tackle the Singletrack 6 last week.
Team Whistler, comprised of Tony Routley and Mike Boehm, took third in the 80-plus men's division in the six-day stage race that included three days in Golden, one day in Revelstoke, one day at Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park and finished in Silver Star Mountain Resort.
The two had won free entry by virtue of winning the division two years ago. Boehm said the experience helped them podium this time around.
"We've ridden it before and we know it quite well," Boehm said.
Routley, meanwhile, was coming off a knee replacement, but managed to battle through.
"I wasn't sure how it was going to be, but it worked out," he said.
Both riders said despite their experience, they didn't go in with any huge goals in mind, and were thrilled to finish the sixth stage in the bronze position overall.
"We went into it with no expectations and came out of it with third place, so we were pretty stoked," Routley said.
"It was a super consistent smooth race—no mechanicals, no flats. We rode within ourselves the entire time," Boehm added. "We saw that we were in third place after the first couple of days and the other groups were a ways ahead of us. We told ourselves, 'Let's enjoy these six days of racing.'"
Routley said he and Boehm work well together, which helped provide a major boost in tougher times.
"When you go out as a team, you never quite know how everyone is going to be, and Mike and I work really, really well," he said. "When I'm not feeling so good, he's not on me. We're working together. When he's not feeling so good, right back at him."
Boehm enjoyed Day 3's alpine stage at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, but also praised Revelstoke for its singletrack the next day.
"It's just a little bit more technical," he said. "The majority of the riding for the six days is flowy and you're pedalling a lot. It was mostly singletrack, which was outstanding, but Revelstoke had the closest to the Whistler style of riding."
Routley, meanwhile, said much of the riding was different from the Sea to Sky, and he appreciated the change of pace in general.
"There was a lot of singletrack and a lot of fast, flowy trails, so each day had that," he said. "They were all really fun days, not the types of trails we really have around Whistler, Squamish, Pemberton per se."
In the individual race, Whistler's Mike Robinson took fifth in the solo 40-plus men's division after winning that event in 2017. He said the Singletrack 6 is one of his favourite weeks of the year.
"Every year, I keep going back and every year, the courses they put together are just so incredible," he said. "They seem to get the best of the best from whichever area they're in."
Robinson's best day was Day 5 of 6, where he hit the podium on the Kalamalka stage.
"It was an incredibly long downhill and it was so fun to ride. For me, it was a 30-minute downhill," he said. "It was a little more old school and chunky. It was my best day, and I finished third. That was my highlight of the week.
"That was my kind of course—straight up and straight down."
The season will now start to wind down for Robinson, who won the Cycling BC cross-country marathon series overall title as well as provincial championships.
Other local Singletrack 6 finishers were: Dale Tiessen and Jason Fluckiger (fourth in team 80-plus men); Natalie Wood (fourth in solo 40-plus women); Sarah Olner (seventh in solo open women); Russ Wood (11th in solo 40-plus men); Justin Homewood (14th in solo open men); and Alex Capon (19th in solo open men).