After several perfect Okanagan days, the BC Bike Race route headed high into the alpine of Apex Mountain Ski Resort for a slight change of scenery.
Location: Apex Mountain
Trail Network: Trail Networks, Apex Mountain Ski Resort, Nickel Plate Nordic Area
Distance Total: 27km
Vertical: 998 meters
Presented By: FOX
All week the weather had ominously forecast showers and cooler temperatures for today. While no rain did manifest during the body of the race, the temperature did fall a bit lower than normal, 8 degrees. All racers were gear-ready and stoked to tackle yet another distinct flavour of Okanagan singletrack.
There are races and racers. And then there are the groups who come out to challenge themselves and their buddies to have fun, experience something new and seek alternate adventures in new locations. Within the BC Bike Race 2021 we have many groups, some of them a bit larger, more organized. One of which is Team Bison, mostly from Victoria BC and parts nearby, who were given their name due to their physical size. The majority of their group is big, strong, rugby players, dads, and now mountain bikers donning cowboy hats, emblazoned jerseys, and a heck of a fun bunch of guys! They enjoyed the labours of each day and waited at each finish line for the last group member to finish. They cheer for almost everybody and are the embodiment of the spirit of sports and racing – high five to Team Bison!
At the pointy end of the stick, ex cross-country, multiple time national mountain bike champion, Eric Tourville, is owning the yellow jersey in the men’s 40+ category. His life partner and wife, Christine Soucy, is battling hard to secure her own podium in the women’s 50+. Hailing from Quebec, these two have raced the BC Bike Race in other years and are back to discover what the South Okanagan has to offer.
Graeme Fitch, currently 3rd in the men’s 60+ category, has done every stage and every year since the beginning of the BC Bike Race (2007). That’s on average 7 stages per year for 14 years. By the end of this week, 98 stages plus a few prologues, or wow, just a ton of singletrack! Who is this guy? And what makes him tick? Each and every day post-ride his amazing wife, Meridee, brings a bag full of hamburgers to the finish line and doles them out to those most deserving, or to those who look like they most need it! This tradition has earned Meridee many a friend over the years and I for one am happy to see this tradition carry on.
Between the teams and the traditions BC Bike Race is happy to be back on track in a brand-new location, the South Okanagan. With some very inspired courses, and of course the same good times on bikes as usual, the “Ultimate Singletrack Experience” is in full swing!
Stage Results, (Day 3, Stage 4)
Overall Open Womens Leader – Laurie Arseneault
Overall Open Mens Leader – Andrew L’Esperance
Team of 2 Mixed
Overall Team of 2 Mixed Leaders – Emily Batty, Adam Morka
Results 40+ Women
Overall 40+ Womens Leader – Kimberly Quinlan
Results 40+ Men
Overall 40+ Mens Leader – Eric Tourville
Results 50+ Women
Overall 50+ Womens Leader – Grace Menning
Results 50+ Men
Overall 50+ Men Leader – Paul Berry
Results 60+ Men
Overall 60+ Men Leader - Joe Haegart
Team of 2 Open Mens
Overall Team of 2, Open Mens Leaders – James Clift, Dave Johnson
Team of 2 Veterans 80+
Overall Team of 2, 80+ Leaders – John Bula, Taylor LIttle