STAGE ONE - SALMON ARM
The first stage of the 2015 Singletrack 6 got under on Sunday 26 July on a cool day in Salmon Arm, B.C. Close on 300 riders took to the tough climbs enjoying the awesome technical descents on trails that were in super shape on the Rubberhead and Larch Hills trail networks.
With a significant amount of precipitation falling the morning before in the Salmon Arm area, drenching the super dry trails in need of moisture, followed by the perfect amount of sunshine in the afternoon, the great course put together by the brains trust of Skookum Cycles, The Shuswap Trail Alliance and Shuswap Cycling Club were in the mood to show off the best of what they had to offer. Conditions were prime for some enjoyable riding by the entire field.
Cory Wallace of Kona was the first of the men across the line, dominating the entire stage from the first climb to the final descent. Despite his aggressive approach fellow Team Kona rider, Kris Sneddon (ST3 race - first 3 stages) was close behind with Team Rocky Mountain Europe's, Anderl Hartmann who followed in third place.
Catharine Pendrel of Team Luna, riding in the ST3 event was the first lady across the line followed by Kate Aardal of Ridley Cycles and in 3rd place Team Deadgoat Racing's Trish Grajczyk.
For full results Click HERE STAGE TWO - SILVER STAR BIKE PARK
Stage 2 (July 27th) hosted at Silver Star Bike Park
started on a chilly morning atop the hills of the provincial park. It was a quick start from Main Street followed by a challenging network of hand built trails testing the riders from start to finish. A quick downhill blitz to the finish line was welcomed by the riders after taking on the elevation and altitude.
The trails prepared by the crew at Silver Star Bike Park were in great condition, proving once again why they are one of the top rated bike parks in North America. It was a ding-dong battle out there with Cory Wallace (Team Kona) riding aggressively again working hard at opening the gap between himself, Andreas Hartmann (Craft Rocky Mountain Europe) in 2nd Place and Tristan Uhl (Competitive Cyclist) in 3rd Place. Just over 7 minutes separated the men's podium going into the halfway point.
In the women's race, Kate Aardal (Ridley's Cycle) was dominating the event commanding lead over 2nd place, Carmen Labbe (Kick Ass Coffee) and Nicole Muzechka (Deadgoat Racing) in 3rd place..
For Full Results Click HERESTAGE THREE - KALAMALKA LAKE
The Santa Cruz
Stage 3 (July 28th) in Kalamalka Lake started on an overcast but warm morning that set the scene with showers temporarily sprinkling the riders as they left the start line in the valley of Cold Stream. There was the relentless quad-burning climb presenting the riders to the much anticipated and feared Big Ed descent. Courtesy of the North Okanagan Cycling Society
this route sent shivers down most riders' spines, in a good way that is.
"Big E" as he is now affectionately known by riders who managed to manoeuvre their way down this juggernaut of a descent that induces fist pumps and back slapping once riders realize they have tamed the trail, dominated the topic of animated discussions at the finish line. "Big E" lived up to his reputation forcing some wide eyes and tight knuckles around handle bars. Once he was done with riders he spat them out onto some of the most amazing views of the event this far with Kalamalka Lake enticing riders to its shores. Front of the pack rider, Jason Sager (CompetitiveCyclist.com) was overheard saying it was the most rowdy downhill he has ever ridden on a XC bike. Big respect to all who tamed the beast. We prepared ourselves for an epic battle and the sharp end of the field definitely did not disappoint as riders fought for the top step of the podium in ST6 and our top riders sealed the deal in the final stage of ST3.
Leader of ST6, Cory Wallace put the hammer down again today extending his lead over second position to just over 8 minutes in the General Classification. Tristan Uhl (CompetitiveCyclist.com) and very recent winner of BC Bike Race had a solid ride finishing in second place with Andreas Hartmann (Craft Rocky Mountain) in 3rd place.
In the women's race, Kate Aardal (Ridley's Cycle) stamped her authority on the rest of the chasing pack opening up her lead further over 2nd place Carmen Labbe (Kicking Horse Coffee) and Nicole Muzechka (Deadgoat Racing) in 3rd Place. When ST3 wrapped up it was the perfect send off to riders after a challenging and beautiful 3 stages of riding. Olympian and XC World Champion, Catharine Pendrel (Luna) was an Absolute Gem and ambassador for the sport as she took the overall win in the same week she was riding a round of the UCI World Cup.
Kris Sneddon (Kona) took the overall win in the men's event in a commanding way proving his professionalism and credentials.
For Full Results Click HERE STAGE FOUR - MYRA CANYON
Stage 4 (July 29th) at Myra Canyon in Kelowna, B.C. was tipped to be one of the most action-packed stages and it definitely didn't disappoint, throwing everything it had at the riders. From heat to long grinding climbs followed by hair-raising descents riders got bang for their buck out there on a tough day. The jury is still out on which has been the biggest baddest timed descent so far but the scales are leaning favourably towards 'Vapour Trail' that claimed a few victims in the way of war wounds and bikes experiencing a few bumps and bruises along the way. It was said at the finish line that the highly rated "Big Ed" was school for the riders, preparing them for Vapour Trail on this stage with its yelp inducing drop-offs, fast flowing switch-backs and dry technical loose rocky bits requiring the senses to be heightened every second of the descent.
Cory Wallace once again had the throttle open as he sent the other riders a simple message, that he has plenty left in the tank and will keep twisting the grip all the way until the final stage. Wallace led from start to finish but did not have an easy ride in the dry heat of the day on a tricky stage being chased by some inspired mountain bikers. Swedish rider, Severin Nowak (Kelowna Cycle) showed up today and hung on like a bull dog the entire stage, to ensure he took the second spot on the podium and moved up the ladder to 3rd in the GC. Mathieu Bélanger-Barrette (Opus/OGC) out of Quebec took 3rd place on the stage with a solid ride.
Despite finishing in 4th place,a rather relaxed looking Tristan Uhl (Competitivecyclist.com), moved up to 2nd in the GC forcing riders to wonder if he is busy with a game of pin the tail on the donkey, keeping the other top contenders guessing about his intentions during the final two stages. Wallace leads the GC by just over 13 minutes ahead of Uhl. With time running out for Uhl as the penultimate stage begins, we can only wait with bated breath as we know its not a case of if
will the move be made or will we see Wallace manage to snap the proverbial rubber band?
Kate Aardal (Ridley's Cycle) kept going like a runaway steam train further stretching her lead making her win a formality as she looks to be clinical and close out the final two stages. While Aardal makes space on her medal display hook, there was an intense battle for the second and third step of the podium in the GC, with just 6 minutes and 75km separating the next 3 women riders.
For Full Results Click HereSTAGE FIVE - SMITH OPTICS, PENTICTON
The Smith Optics
Stage 5 (July 30th) on Campbell Mountain in Penticton got underway on a spectacular morning on the shores of Lake Okanagan. The sharp-end of the field got busy immediately stepping on the gas up the climb up to the top of the mountain as they knew they had a race on their hands.
The Smith Optics team were out on course today with their famous Bacon Hand-ups in the true Canadian way! It proved to be wildly popular among riders as they battled the elements and were rewarded with some bacon goodness. The Smith Optics team were also ensuring all riders had clean shades as they offered to clean any rider's sunglasses before heading off again into the dusty trails. Smith Optics were the champions of the day looking after our valuable field of riders.
After a number of route complications on the course resulting in timing discrepancies, it was decided by the commissionaire to neutralize the stage and maintain all the current standings from Stage 4 heading into the final leg, stage 6. Riders still managed to experience the full worth of Campbell Mountain enjoying the punchy climbs, chalky dry singletrack and bombing final descent into town past the impressive vineyards in Canada's wine country. Despite the outcome there was still a major battle among the GC heading into the final stage with seemingly bullet-proof, Cory Wallace (Kona) chased by the cool and calm Texan, Tristan Uhl (competitivecyclist.com) for the top step of the podium.
For Full Results Click Here:STAGE SIX - THE BIKE BARN, PENTICTON
The Bike Barn
Stage 6 (July 31st) on Three Blind Mice Trail in Penticton wrapped up the 2015 event on an incredible route put together by the Penticton & Area Cycling Association.
The route did not disappoint as a final send off for riders with its flowing and scenic singletrack and final descent past vineyards before presenting riders to the finish on the magnificent shores of Lake Okanagan.
There were many grimy but happy faces illustrating the feeling of accomplishment. It was high fives all round at the finish line as riders collected their belt buckle to hang on the mantle as a reminder that they headed to the west, rode it and came out on top. Riders took on some demanding routes and the general feedback was that it was challenging, exciting and a big adventure. Well done to all riders that took part. We cannot wait to show you what we have in store for you next year
in the Kootenay RockiesHow The Bike Barn Stage 6 Unfolded:
Second place overall chasing rider, Tristan Uhl (competitivecyclist.com) was breathing down the neck of GC leader, Cory Wallace (Kona) all week and nothing was different for the start of the final stage. His relentless pressure on Wallace finally paid off to get him a win on the stage with the biggest fan-fair. Severin Novak (Kelowna Cycle) filled the 3rd step of the podium with a very solid ride managing to drop the chasing bunch he was in up the first climb, putting some time into the pursuing riders. Women's GC leader, Kate Aardal (Ridley's Cycle) was clinical once again making it a clean sweep of stage wins with six out of six. Kristin Walters (Terrascape/Crave Racing) and Emilie Thy (Dodge City Racing) duked it out for 2nd and 3rd place, with just over a minute separating them. It was Walters who claimed 2nd place in the end with Thy rounding out the podium. The General Classification:
What a week of racing it was. The riders left it all out there on the trails putting on a spectacle for all, from the front to the back of the pack. Cory Wallace's gutsy riding style got him the overall men's win in a total time of 10:55:47. Tristan Uhl took 2nd place with 11:07:17 and Severin Novak ended in 3rd place with 11:14:25. Kate Aardal was methodical taking the honours and the top step of the podium with a total time of 13:27:08. Carmen Labbe took 2nd place with 15:20:53 and Nicole Muzechka was in 3rd with 15:25:45. Timed Descent GC:
The Timed Descents were always a hot topic of discussion as riders were forced to keep their wits about them every day with some challenging and exhilarating TD's. Olivier Bruwiere (Team Narviflex Nomadesk Masters) was the overall men's winner of the TD with a total time of 0:41:42 and Wendy Simms (Kona-Frontrunners) was the overall winner of the ladies with 0:50:33
For Comprehensive Results Click HERE
Content by Gavin Grobbelaar - Ultra Media
Photos by John Gibson