BC Bike Race takes over Sunshine Coast single track

More than 600 cross-country bikers cycled the length of the Sunshine Coast, mostly on single track trails, last Wednesday and Thursday during Stages 5 and 6 of the annual BC Bike Race.

Cyclists started in Earls Cove on July 10 and finished the day in Sechelt. The next day they travelled to Langdale, where they took the ferry back to the Lower Mainland for the final leg of the seven-day race, which ended in Squamish.

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“Everything went very smooth, it was a great year, the weather was quite conducive,” said BC Bike Race spokesperson Andreas Hestler. “It was a wonderful journey from start to finish and heading down the Sunshine Coast was awesome as usual.”

The only blip came Wednesday, when some of the trail markers were removed, unbeknownst to the race organizers, which Hestler chalked up to “a little bit of mischief.”

Test riders are sent through the course before the start of each race to catch issues, including those brought about by mischief-makers. This time the lead cyclist raced through the trails before crews had time to finish remarking the course, which led the rider astray temporarily.

Geoff Kabush ended up in first place that day, covering the 58-kilometre course in a time of 2:50:43. Felix Burke took first in Stage 6, pedalling the 49 kilometres from Sechelt to Langdale in a time of 2:35:40.

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Local riders Daren Spithoff and Kai Jenkins, Team Big Rigs, placed 12th in their division. - Meaghan O’brien Spithoff Photo

Two local riders, Daren Spithoff of Roberts Creek and Kai Jenkins of Sechelt, participated in the race as Team Big Rigs, placing 12th in their division. Jenkins’ overall race time was 24:16:17, placing him 214 out of 603 racers and Spithoff placed 302 with an overall race time of 26:51:34.

Five-time Olympian Katerina Nash of the Czech Republic was the overall first place finisher for women, completing the Bike Race in a time of 18:39:46. Canadian Felix Burke took top spot for men with an overall time of 15:43:46.

Jim Brown, who was invited to race as the “Local of the Day” for Stage 5, thanked the organizers and said he biked with people from the Lower Mainland, Puerto Rico, the U.K., Belgium and other countries. “The experience I had was better than I expected and I hope you will continue this program for other local riders,” he said.

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