Participants in the first ever Trans BC enduro event rode the trails in Rossland last Wednesday and Thursday.
Trans BC is a six-day enduro race with approximately 30 different stages in four different cities. In an enduro race, participants are only timed during each downhill stage, and not during the intervals between stages. There are 120 riders from 13 different countries participating in Trans BC. They spent Monday in Vernon completing five stages and Tuesday in Penticton completing seven stages.
Meg Bichard from New Zealand led the women on day one, and following hot on her heals were Canadian Mical Dyck and American Leigh Bowe.
Leading the men on day one was Jamie Nicoll, from Nelson, New Zealand. Behind him where Americans Aaron Bradford and Adam Craig. New Zealander Matt Patterson led the master 40+ men. American Zach White came in second and South African Rene Damseaux was close behind in third place.
Bichard maintained her lead on day two, as did Nicoll. Patterson dropped to fourth on day two, while Damseaux took the lead.
Participants took on three stages the first day in Rossland and six stages on the second day. “We took them up from the north end of Seven Summits, and took them up and over the first summit, and brought them down Plewman,” explained Megan Rose, owner and organizer of Trans BC, on the first day in Rossland. “Then went over and did a little bit at Neptune [Creek], BS into Monticola, and then they come back to Red and then they finished the final stage up Red down the classic Dreadhead.” Participants started their second day on Dewdney Trail, riding some of the trails south of Rossland, and winding up on the Flume for the fourth stage.
“I think four, most people would agree, that was the rowdiest of stages. Like I went into it first turn and it was just real — right from the get go,” said Bradford. “We’ve been talking a lot about it a lot this year, playing it live. It was definitely playing it live, just taking it as it all came.”
Riders ended both days at Red Mountain Resort where they could clean up their bikes, get them repaired and recharge their bodies. Staff from Revolution Cycle were on location for repairs and there was a massage team to take care of the riders.
“These guys need massages, so the massage team is with us for the whole week and we use the local mechanics for each location, so we just get them to come set up at the finish line, and the bike shop’s not far away if they need any extra supplies,” said Rose.
To to be able to compete over six days, riders agreed it was important to take care of themselves.
“It’s a big ask on your body,” said Nicoll. “That’s what we train for and things like that. So it’s about keeping it at a pace that you know you can hold for those six days, but you’re definitely working incredibly hard on the stages and our bodies are screaming at us.”
As of the end of Thursday, Nicoll is first overall for the men, though he slipped to fifth place on day three and third place on day four. Bradford, who placed second on day three and first on day four, is second overall for the men and Craig is in third.
“There’s plenty of people nipping at my heals to take time off me,” said Nicoll. “So we’re pushing hard and I’m pushing hard. You’re trying to see the bigger picture too that there’s an importance of being consistant.”
Bichard came in first place both days in Rossland, and is in first place overall for the women, with Dyck in second and American Sonya Looney in third.
Damseaux is sitting in first place for the master 40+ men after claiming second on day three and first on day four. Patterson is fairly close behind, having placed first on day three and second on day four. White is in third.
Asked why she decided to organize Trans BC, Rose said, “It’s kind of the next thing that people are looking for world wide. BC was just kind of waiting to happen here and the trails here are so exciting. It’s on every international rider’s biker list to come and ride BC, but some people just don’t do it unless they have an excuse.”
Talking to riders at the end of day four, Rose’s assessment proved correct. Though Nicoll and Bradford, who’s from Seattle, have ridden in BC before, they’ve both always ended up on the coast, instead of the interior.
“I’ve done just Vancouver through to the Chilcotins, so nothing on this side of wherever I am,” said Nicoll.
Craig is from Oregon and has never made it to BC to ride before. He said that now he’ll be sure to come back.
“I have been sad to not have made the pilgrimage up here to ride, and I’m glad that we had this race as a catalyst to do it, because it’s pretty amazing. Good scenery, and really, really, really fun trails. The exact kind of trails I want to be riding.”
Rose wanted to thank Ryan Kuhn and the local bike club for helping make the Rossland stages of Trans BC happen.
“We don’t run these events unless local bike clubs are on board and they support it. Ryan’s a huge kind of driver of that and he was meant to come on as helping with the medic team for the full event, but we actually left him behind here to get things ready in Rossland for those two days,” said Rose. “So the last three of four days he’s been here clearing trails, chopping all the trees out, getting things ready, fixing bridges that are broken, flagging the entire two days course — so without him these guys wouldn’t get what they’re getting today.”
Riders will spend Friday and Saturday in Nelson completing the enduro. For full results visit transbcenduro.com/#!results-1/cmzw.