The 450 riders in the BC Bike Race roll their mountain bikes on July 2 and finish seven days later. Singletrack.com will have full coverage of the race as well as behind-the-scenes reports from Jason Sumner.
The word for now, however, is that race organizers have announced something new for this year: chip-timed segments on challenging singletrack.
There will be two Rocky Mountain “Love the Ride” timed trail sections on a number of days during the week, allowing organizers to accurately identify the fastest singletrack rider in the race. The timed 2-8km sections of trail add a new dimension to the 2011 race: Who’s fastest for the day along with who’s fastest in the hotspots.
“With a number of DH celebrities racing, including Brian Lopes of Team Oakley/Ibis, Mark Weir and Jason Moeschler of Team WTB/Cannodale, and Katrina Strand of Team Dakine, we thought this would be a great way to highlight a different set of skills,” said Andreas Hestler, BCBR marketing director. “While we expect a battle royal at the front for the overall title, the chip-timed sections will be a whole different animal.”
The battle for the overall will go up a notch with the appearance of top European riders. Team Bulls rider Thomas Dietsch, and Team Olympia rider Marzio Deho, both fresh off the MTB marathon world championships in Italy, will try to unseat reigning BCBR Champion and Team Rocky Mountain Bikes rider Chris Sheppard. Looking to take advantage of the ensuing battle, Team Jamis’ Jason Sager, Ben Sonntag and Blake Harland, along with Team Kona’s Cory Wallace, will surely bide their time to claim a stage win or two.
In the teams-of-two category, Kris Sneddon and Barry Wicks of Team Kona return to defend their title against other notably strong challengers such as Team Nativo/Devinci‘s Marty Lazarski and Ricki Federaui, and Team Clif Bar’s Brady Koppius and Mitch Hoke.
Another notable is Canadian Olympian and Canadian Cycling Hall of Fame inductee Pierre Harvey, participating in his first BC Bike Race.