Covering 29km and a little over vertical 900 metres, Sombrio Stage 5 was Singletrack 6’s shortest stage in length as well as in vertical gain.
Vital Statistics - Sombrio Stage 5 in Rossland, BC
Elevation gain: 914m
But from what racers crossing the finish line had to say, it was one of the most exhilarating yet. At 8 am, racers line up in Rossland’s Centennial Field to start a day that would see them take on two significant climbs followed by two gnarley descents on the trails south of town. It would be hard, but it would be fun! It would also be the first day that started and ended in different places, with the finishline along the edge of the Redstone Resort Golf Course.
When the gun went off, racers were ushered through the paved and hilly streets of Rossland on a neutral start before beginning their off-road adventure on the mellow “Railgrade” trail. As the name suggests, the trail is the base of an old railway—a remnant of Rossland’s mining past—with the track removed. The gentle grade wouldn’t last long though as the field soon made their way onto the first big climb of the day on the “Doukhobor Draw” and “Tamarack” trails.
Once riders crested the Tamarack climb, those in need of food or water found respite in the first checkpoint of the day. They also found themselves at the top of the first major climb and about to drop into one of the stage’s highlight trails: “SMD”. Short for Supermegadeth, this advanced descent is a local favourite and drops nearly 600 vertical metres before reaching the short, fast and flowy “Awesome” trail.
At the bottom of Awesome, riders were confronted with notion that what comes down, must go up (or something like that), which meant it was now time to climb once again. Their climb began with the gravel King George Rd. and ended back on the familiar “Doukhobor Draw” and “Tamarack” trails. Now on top of Tamarack for the second time, racers had the option of visiting the checkpoint once again or turning back toward town and the stage’s timed descent.
Known as “Whiskey”, stage five’s timed descent is a rowdy ride down steep singletrack with the occasional stunt, jump or rock slab thrown in. By all accounts, racers loved it, and as one of the race timing crew at the bottom put it, “there are a lot of smiles at the bottom of Whiskey.” From there, it was back onto “Railgrade”, then “Rubberhead” and “Louie Joe”, which took riders along the edge of the Redstone Resort golf course and into the finish.
At the finishline, the stoke was high as racers swapped stories—and probably a few fish tales—about their first day in the mountains near Rossland. Or as it’s otherwise known, the “Mountain Biking Capital of Canada”.
Across the finish line first for the Open Men today, and for the fifth stage in a row, was Carter Nieuwesteeg, with a time of 1:41:32. And for the fitfth stage in a row, the second place finisher was Macky Franklin, with a time of 1:46:24.
For the Open Women, Emily Williams crossed the line first to take her fourth stage win, with a time of 2:00:41 and Emma Maaranen crossed second, with a time of 2:01:54.
Tomorrow, racers head up to RED Mountain Resort for the final stage of Singletrack 6 2022, where they’ll rack up the most vertical gain to date. It won’t be an easy day in the saddle for the racers, but knowing they will have achieved something special when they cross the finish line will surely give everyone the motivation they need to finish strong.
What do the racers have to say?
“We’re from Squamish and we’ve ridden all those areas so many times and this such a great opportunity to showcase these areas. We’ve never been to Fernie before, we’ve never been to Kimberley before. It’s like being on a guided mountain bike tour of the best trails the kootenays have to offer.”
-Lorraine Ross, Team Open Mixed
“Every stage has been great but this was my favourite stage so far…I wish it was SIngletrack 12 so I can spend a couple weeks here in the Kootenays…we knew the riding here was great and it exceeded expectations.”
-Alan Ross, Team Open Mixed