The seven-day BC Bike Race is attracting riders known more for what they can do in a matter of minutes on a downhill run.
For 2011, gravity icons Brian Lopes and Mark Weir will take on the approximately 220-mile race in British Columbia from July 2-9. Lopes is a four-time world champion in 4-cross, six-time World Cup champ and nine-time winner of the Stars-and-Stripes jersey.
“I never thought I would say I’m looking forward to doing an XC stage race, but I am,” Lopes said. “I’ve heard nothing but great things about the course this year and although I am not expecting any great result, I am expecting an experience that will last a lifetime.”
In its five years BC Bike Race has attracted many different types of cyclists: Olympians such as Geoff Kabush and Katharine Pendrel and World Champions such as Chris Eatough and Tinker Juarez.
Adding to the list is Weir, who will contest the BCBR with WTB-Cannondale teammate Jason Moeschler. Both riders are known for their long domination of the Downieville Classic, AKA the All-Mountain World Championships, in California. They have both stood on the podium and are well respected for their engines, but are globally renowned for their technical wizardry. In 2010 they competed in the French Enduro series.
“My quest to be more like a Canadian has been ongoing. This seemed to be a real fast way to imbed some Canadian skills and long enough to maybe get a hold of that real cool accent,” Weir said. “If all fails I’ll just drink lots of beer. I am looking forward to this adventure.”
For his part, Moeschler said he’d been asking Weir to take on the BCBR since it started.
“So I said let’s go do something different, let’s go do BC Bike Race,” Moeschler recalled. “He said, ‘Oh no, I’m an endurance downhill racer. I don’t do that kind of stuff.’ Well something changed because now we’re doing it and that’s great news for me because all the riding I’ve ever done in Canada has always been amazing.”
The BCBR’s Andreas Hestler said Moeschler and Weir share a great enthusiasm for adventure and mountain biking, “What more could BCBR ask?”
“The attitude and dedication these riders represent is directly in line with BCBR’s philosophy of good times, great trails and plenty of time après to squash a few local brews,” Hestler said. “We hope that all of the participants can share these ideals, while not taking away from a great day in the saddle, it’s about how one approaches ‘epic’ in one’s life.”