REVELSTOKE, B.C.— Tucked away in Canada’s oldest mountains, Panorama set the stage for the first two days of the Schwalbe Trans BC presented by Yeti Cycles
. On the list of North America’s Top 10 mountains with the most vertical, Panorama delivered prime conditions for 160 racers to find their pace on a sample platter of steep loamers, high alpine scree, rocky chutes and the queen stage of the week.Day One —
everyone’s eyes were opened up for the week ahead. Despite it being on the shorter end of the spectrum for the Trans BC, the 23 kilometers and 955 meters of climbing resulted in 2362 meters of descending – a favored ratio amongst the crowd.
“We’re still the hidden gem – it’s so vast and there’s still so much to explore,” said Andrew Nelson (Invereme, B.C.) Avalanche Risk Manager at Panorama Mountain Resort. “Most of the trails we’re racing are reestablished outfitter and hunting trails from the early 1900’s.”
Megan Rose, race director and founder of the Trans BC, knew that Nelson had GPS coordinates of forgotten trails for years. Last fall, she began exploring the routes to see where they would lead, discovering a whole new slew of trails to share at the Trans BC. With the help from local trail builder Jose (the legend) Letelier, Rose was able to turn back the clocks on these trails and open up an entirely new zone for the race and local mountain bike community.
Letelier put in an inordinate amount of time prepping and building trails for this year’s Trans BC. Stage 1 was a “Jose-special” to kick off the week – janky turns, a few steeps into catch berms, to warm up cat-like reflexes for the week.
Two chairlifts and a moderate pedal, according to Canadian logging road standards, to the top of Stage 2 gave racers a sneak peek to the high alpine looming above. The summit of Mount Goldie taunted racers at 2649 meters, knowing they would have to scramble up her slippery scree the following day.
“The conditions we experienced are unheard of, especially this time of the year. It’s usually blown out, dusty and hot,” Rose said. “Today presented the perfect temperatures. The trails tacky, but not wet. There was loam where there is usually dust powder. But as a result, you couldn’t switch off your brain off because the roots and rocks were semi-slick.”
With two more logging liaisons and two stages left, beads of sweat started to pour thinking about the final stage of the day back in the bike park – Punisher.
Hannah Bergemann drops into the meat of Stage 4, centerpunching the fastest line sight unseen. Bergemann has a commanding lead over the Open Women after two days of racing with a 4 minute 40 second lead over second place.
The steeps of Stage 4, Punisher, don't discriminate. Everyone, from the best riders to the most cautious, was caught off guard.Day Two —
“You’re going to be hating life…” Rose’s words echoed through the thin air. With bikes slung over backs, racers ascended the decomposing flanks of Mount Goldie, marching like ants, one by one, to commence their six-plus-hour day.
Rose’s one request for the week was beautiful weather on Day Two. Racers were treated to the perfect day for slogging bikes around the backcountry – 70 degrees and sunny and crystal-clear views in every direction.
On the elevation profile, three distinct hike-a-bikes stood out. At 20 kilometers, it wasn’t the longest distance day, however, it would be one of the most physical days on the bike with seven stages to chip in for and the majority of the 1,492 meters of climbing completed sans pedaling.
For those who have never surfed scree on their bike, Stage 1 off the summit of Mount Goldie, was the closest they’d ever get to skiing on a bike. With pink flagging dotting the way, it was a “choose your own adventure” until the open field funneled into a freshly cut ribbon of singletrack.
The next two stages contoured the mountainside taking racers further away from civilization. No aid stations were available on course. Racers were advised to pack a water filter to drink from the roaring stream before heading up the monster 2.55 kilometer and 433-meter hike-a-bike to the summit of Little Brewer.
Stage 4 is what high-country aficionados dream of – extended sections of big mountain scree surfing went straight down the mountain, through a 3-foot deep snowdrift, and dove straight back into the deep woods. Racers’ grins weren’t weighed down by sections of bogs or awkward flat sections to pedal through. The feeling was unanimous – Stage 4 brought out the best of the Trans BC.
The payoff from hike-a-biking all day was in Stages 5 through 7 – where liaisons were short jaunts or a lift ride to the top of another dreamy descent.
“Stage 5 had some extremely good sections of trails. The switchbacks at the end had the most grip I have ever experienced – the amount of speed you could carry through them, mind-blowing,” said Scott Countryman (Flagstaff, Ariz.) Open Men. “It was the grippiest sections of trail on earth. I still don’t know how it was possible.”
The final lift-assisted stage of the day down Moose Powder into Sanchez was intentionally placed at the end of Day Two to leave riders feeling good as they head into Hump Day, in Kimberley, B.C.
Four days of racing remain. Stay tuned to Pinkbike for updates all week long from the Trans BC Enduro. Hashtag your photos #transbcenduro
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Trans BC Overall Results – Days One and Two – PanoramaFull results can be found at www.transbcenduro.com.
1. Scott Countryman 57:40
2. Aaron Bradford 59:19
3. Marty Schaffer 59:30
4. Logan Wetzel 59:48
5. Dan Skogland 1:00:43
1. Hannah Bergemann 1:10:31
2. Angie McKirdy 1:15:11
3. Ingrid Larouche 1:15:43
4. Alex Pavon 1:16:07
5. Bonnie Burke 1:16:45
Master Men 40+
1. Shane Jensen 1:04:24
2. David Hutton 1:07:09
3. Jon Burton 1:07:30
4. Kevin Eaton 1:08:58
5. Colin Jacoby 1:10:30
Old Boys 50+
1. Arama Jillings 1:10:13
2. Cary Smith 1:12:20
3. Tim Bergemann 1:15:57
4. Emmett Purcell 1:16:27
5. Chris Urban 1:16:27
ABOUT MEGAN ROSE — Megan has been riding and racing bikes all over the world for 14 years and organizing bike events for the past 10 years. She splits her time between British Columbia, Canada and New Zealand, running Trans BC Enduro and Trans NZ Enduro races. Over the past six years, Megan has personally raced in over 40 enduro races, timed over 65 days’ worth of enduro races, and organized 30+ enduro races. Megan and her team look forward to bringing you the best of the best from all of these perspectives.
ABOUT SCHWALBE — We are "tire fanatics" and 100% committed to bikes. You will find SCHWALBE bike tires in the USA, in South Africa as well as in Japan and Australia. In Europe, we are even the market leader! Our tires are not available everywhere, but exclusively from specialist dealers. We insist on qualified advice and good service and we know only the specialist trade can provide both.
ABOUT YETI CYCLES — Founded in 1985, Yeti Cycles makes race-bred, obsessively engineered, masterfully crafted mountain bikes proven by the fastest riders in the most demanding conditions. Based in Golden, Colorado, Yeti is owned and staffed by riders who are more likely to be out riding the company’s latest creation than sitting in a conference room. Visit www.yeticycles.com to learn more.