Tony Routley and Mike Boehm had a one-track mind at the Singletrack 6: to win their age group.
The Whistler duo did just that, capturing the 100+ open category at the eastern B.C. race that took riders from Fernie to Golden. Routley and Boehm teamed up to post a six-stage time of 15 hours, 49 minutes and 21 seconds (15:49:21) to get past the runners-up by about three-and-a-half hours.
Though the two have been riding together for 15 years, they had never competed as a team before. Boehm, in particular, appreciated the opportunity.
"The guy is a cyborg and I was glad to join him for this team event as well because in most of the races we do, we're just a few minutes off of each other," he said of Routley. "It just works really well to ride with somebody as opposed to by yourself all the time. In your down times, you have somebody who's right there with you to pace you through things."
Routley, who has done the race as a solo rider, also enjoyed taking a partner along.
"You have to ride together and it definitely changes things up in riding for yourself because as the day wears on, there's always times when someone feels a little better than the other person and back-and-forth," he said.
And there were some challenges toward the midway stage of the race, with the two riders hitting a wall in Cranbrook.
"You know you're going to have one bad day and Tony and I both felt the same way on Day 3," he said. "It was hot and dusty but you know, whatever, you just go through it and the next three days were great. We just ended up getting better as each day went along."
Routley stressed that it's important not to get knocked off-kilter by the one rough outing and instead regroup and refocus on successful riding.
"You always have a bad day. For whatever reason, it always seems to be that third or fourth day where you go 'Oh my God. I'm cooked, I'm hurting and everything doesn't really feel great,' then you roll back out of that and it's good again," he said. "You just try to power on through it. I've done lots of stage races over the year and it always seems to be the way. I don't think there's anything we can do. It's just the way the body is."
Each preferred similar stages throughout the race, which ran from July 23 to 28.
Routley was bullish on the closing stages in Golden, though he enjoyed the race as a whole.
"It was absolutely great," he said. "It must have been 90 per cent, more, probably, the courses every day were all singletrack, really flowy and fun. Besides racing and knocking the shit out of yourself, it was fun."
While Boehm praised the second stage in Fernie, the Golden stages were also where it was at for him.
"It was definitely the most technical riding we experienced throughout the six days," Boehm said. "That just goes well with our skill set coming here from Whistler."
Other locals performed well in the event. Michael Robinson took third in the men's 40+ division, while Robin O'Neill took fifth on the women's side. Mahon Lamont and Chris Clarke were 10th and 11th, respectively, in the open men's event. Lastly, Marjorie Lauzon notched a sixth-place finish in the women's three-day race.