Hello Singletrack 6 - Stage 1!


GearHub Sports Stage 1

Length: 36km
Elevation gain: 1,150m

Racers lined up this morning for the GearHub Sports stage 1 of TransRockies Singletrack 6 at the Fernie Aquatic Centre in beautiful Fernie, BC. Temperatures were cool to start but certainly warmed up as the approximately 200 racers gathered at the start line and would spend much of their day on the steep slopes of the Ridgemont, Montane and Castle riding areas. The gun went off promptly at 8 am, and racers were treated to a neutral start along the edge of town to Coal Creek Road. A few kilometers down Coal Creek and it was on to Ridgemont Road as racers slotted themselves into the pack—based on ability—before hitting the first singletrack of the day. 

When it came time to leave the gravel of Coal Creek and Ridgemont Roads behind, the “Queen V” trail provided relatively gentle uphill grades to warm up the legs for the bigger climbs to come. From here, riders raced through checkpoint 1 at 5.2km, then a loop around Ridgemont, before returning to that same checkpoint again at 14.5km. Having gone through the checkpoint twice, racers made their way down the short, but fun, “Roxy Roller” descent and onto the “TransCanada Trail” before crossing back over Coal Creek Road and into Montane. The rolling trails soon gave way to steeper terrain as riders powered their way to the most vertical climb of the day, the dreaded “Hyperventilation.” As the name implies, Hypervent is an advanced singletrack climb that switchbacks its way up nearly 300 vertical metres. But this grind to the top left only a very short distance to the reward “Today’s Special”. As stage 1's "timed descent", Today’s Special is steep, windy and rowdy. And as word from the Fernie locals and riders who pre-rode the course yesterday, the descent was running in mint condition!

Once up the day’s single steepest climb and descent, it was all downhill from there to the finish line back at the Fernie Aquatic Centre (ok maybe a few short up hills along the way). Crossing the finish line first overall in a time of 1:55:01 was New Zealand racer Cameron Jones, followed by local Fernie racer, Carter Nieuwesteeg at1:55:59, and Canmore rider, Raph Couturier in a time of 2:06:47. For the Open Women, Hannah Simms of Barrie, ON crossed the line first in 2:30:41, followed by Chelsee Pummel of Bozeman, Montana, in a time of 2:32:39 and Imogen Smith of Queensland, Australia in 2:34:03.. As the rest of the field made their way across the finish line, the concensus seemed to be that this first stage was definitely “difficult but doable.” Exactly how we think a Singletrack 6 stage should be!