August 14/08 10:31 am - Transrockies Challenge: Day 2, 3 and 4
Posted by Editoress on 08/14/08
We have gotten behind on daily reports and results due to this little event called the Olympics going on in Beijing ~ Sorry !! Here is what has happened in the last 3 days at the 2008 TR - editoress
All reports supplied by TransRockies, all photos by Dan Hudson and are courtesy TransRockies.
Day 2 (August 11th): K2 Ranch to Nipika Mountain Resort: 73.7km/3813m climbing
It was a long day for everyone on the TransRockies trail today, as an already gruelling stage got longer when the front pack went off course and everyone played "follow the lemming," as today's 1st Place Open Men's finishers, Sobe Cannondale riders Mike Garrigan and Jesse Jakomait explained at the finish.
The riders went awry when some of the top teams missed the flagging tape on course indicating a right-hand turn. Instead, the group marched up a steep avalanche gulley shouldering their bikes all the way to the top, missing the turn and finding out, upon summiting the chute, that the trail had gone cold.
"We were so focused on putting one foot in front of the other that we ended up just playing follow the lemming," said Jakomait. According to him, a group of about 20 riders at the front of the race, realizing their mistake, turned and began backtracking, eventually finding the route and getting back into race mode.
Jakomait and Garrigan completed the course with a time of 5:50:37, about an hour and a half later than the projected top finisher time for Stage 2. Xprezo.ca team Matthew Hadley and Frederic Bussieres came in three minutes later.
"There was a lot of climbing today even without adding an extra hour and a half of uphill with my bike," said Frederic at the finish line, still sporting a smile but showing signs of fatigue after two straight days of steep vertical.
Steed Cycles rider and recently retired NHL hockey player Trevor Linden also commented on the degree of difficulty for Stage 2, saying "It wouldn't have been bad had we not gone off course (uphilll) on that scree. It was a big day without that, but that made it massive," he said. Linden said he was looking forward to the Stage 3 time trial as a much needed rest from Stages 1 and 2. Nipika Mountain Resort promises to deliver that with some exceptional private singletrack along the Kootenay River, bordering Canada's Kootenay National Park.
Day 3 (August 12th): Nipika to Nipika: 44.2km/1514m climbing
Two days of climbing may have taken their toll, but today TransRockies riders were treated to a few extra hours of sleep. Those at the top of the standings received start times throughout the afternoon, meaning teams had time for a leisurely breakfast, a photography session in the scenic Nipika meadow and a chance to cheer on new friends as they made their way out of the chutes and onto the incredible trail system at Nipika Mountain Resort.
Designed by landowner Lyle Wilson, today's trail was a big hit with weary riders and the spectacular singletrack was a much-needed reward after two grueling days coming down from the Purcell mountain range and up and over the formidable western slopes of the Rocky Mountain range.
Highlights of today's stage included incredible remote Rocky Mountain singletrack and the return of summer temperatures after two wet days and an equal number of cold nights. The stage was also lauded for the best scenery of the past three days, as the trail had riders cruising singletrack high on the sandy ridge above the aquamarine Kootenay River.
Much of today's trail was cut especially for TransRockies by Nipika Mountain Resort owner/operator Lyle Wilson, and the pride of workmanship and desire to create something both scenic and challenging paid off, as many riders were overheard expressing a desire to return in the future with friends and family.
Let's hope teams enjoyed their leisurely Nipika stay - leisurely, that is, when compared with Stage 4, which features 109 kilometres of some of the Kootenay Rockies most remote terrain. This part of the Kootenays is a well-kept secret for many local riders, and the long day will pay off in spades as the journey through this spectacular mountain oasis will give newcomers an authentic Canadian Rockies epic mountain bike experience.
Day 4 (August 13th): Nipika to Whiteswan Lake: 109.7km/2567m climbing
Report not yet available