Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Moving on up…

Stage 2 - August 11: Invermere to Nipika Resort, 74km

It was a long day for everyone on the TransRockies trail today, as an already gruelling stage got longer when the front pack went off course and everyone played "follow the lemming," as today's first Place Open Men's finishers, Sobe Cannondale riders Mike Garrigan and Jesse Jakomait explained at the finish.

The riders went awry when some of the top teams missed the flagging tape on course indicating a right-hand turn. Instead, the group marched up a steep avalanche gulley shouldering their bikes all the way to the top, missing the turn and finding out, upon summiting the chute, that the trail had gone cold.

"We were so focused on putting one foot in front of the other that we ended up just playing follow the lemming," said Jakomait. According to him, a group of about 20 riders at the front of the race, realizing their mistake, turned and began backtracking, eventually finding the route and getting back into race mode.

Jakomait and Garrigan completed the course with a time of 5h50'37, about an hour and a half later than the projected top finisher time for Stage 2. Xprezo.ca team Matthew Hadley and Frederic Bussieres came in three minutes later.

"There was a lot of climbing today even without adding an extra hour and a half of uphill with my bike," said Frederic at the finish line, still sporting a smile but showing signs of fatigue after two straight days of steep vertical.

Steed Cycles rider and recently retired NHL hockey player Trevor Linden also commented on the degree of difficulty for Stage 2, saying "It wouldn't have been bad had we not gone off course (uphilll) on that scree. It was a big day without that, but that made it massive," he said. Linden said he was looking forward to the Stage 3 time trial as a much needed rest from Stages 1 and 2. Nipika Mountain Resort promises to deliver that with some exceptional private singletrack along the Kootenay River, bordering Canada's Kootenay National Park.

After a chilly overnight stay at the exceptionally beautiful K2 Ranch, the clouds cracked open to reveal blue skies today. It was a sea of smiles in the starting chute this morning, with the sun growing stronger by the minute and when the starting gun went off there were very few clouds in the sky.

More Here
Open Men Results

52 Cory Smith (Can) / Nathen Weselake (Can) Team Justice 2.16.57 off the lead (59th overall)

68 Cory Lanovaz (Can) / Jason Copan (Can) Redneck Posse 2.43.38 off the lead (75th overall)

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