Editor’s Note: Subaru/Gary Fisher pro endurance racer Nat Ross has been sharing daily diaries from the BC Bike Race with VeloNews.com readers. Today, Ross’s teammate Chris Beck is providing his perspective on the fifth stage, from Sechelt to Squamish.
It’s hard to say what was the hardest thing about today’s stage. Was it the 3000 or so feet of rocky rooty single-track? Maybe. Actually it was having to climb off the bike at the finish line after 12 kilometers of the smoothest, fastest, section of downhill single track most racers claimed to have ever ridden.
It’s tough trying to describe today’s stage. Imagine your favorite downhill, now do it for 45 minutes straight. Almost no pedaling, a sporadic touch of the brakes here and there. It was pure bliss. Mountain bike heaven.
Canadians Andreas Hestler and Chris Shepard rode clear of Team Kona’s Barry Wicks and Chris Sneddon after mechanicals held up the Costa Ricans and Australia’s Team Flight Center. Trek-VW and Team Mona Vie/Cannondale couldn’t quite hold the pace of the leaders and lost a few minutes to the race leaders with only two more days of racing.
Andreas Hestler and Chris Shepard claimed the stage but didn’t earn the jersey after their catastrophic mechanical prevented them from finishing on Day 1. The overall GC is still up-for-grabs starting with tomorrow’s stage through the immensely renowned Squamish Trail System.
After today’s stage the battle wounds were showing up on many riders. Racers were sporting arm slings and bandages on another awe-inspiring ferry trip from the Sunshine Coast to Horseshoe Bay en route to our final destination Whistler for Day 7, for from what I have heard is one heck of a party.
Promises of sweeter single track tomorrow have been made. From this racer’s perspective, that’s a very tall order. As soon as the permanent smile wears off my face, I’ll be getting a rest, maybe dreams of tomorrow’s single track will help pass the night.
Until next time, thanks for reading,
The Beck Perspective
Stage 5 results