Two days of climbing may have taken their toll, but today TransRockies riders were treated to a few extra hours of sleep. Those at the top of the standings received start times throughout the afternoon, meaning teams had time for a leisurely breakfast, a photography session in the scenic Nipika meadow and a chance to cheer on new friends as they made their way out of the chutes and onto the incredible trail system at Nipika Mountain Resort.
Designed by landowner Lyle Wilson, today's trail was a big hit with weary riders and the spectacular singletrack was a much-needed reward after two grueling days coming down from the Purcell mountain range and up and over the formidable western slopes of the Rocky Mountain range.
Highlights of today's stage included incredible remote Rocky Mountain singletrack and the return of summer temperatures after two wet days and an equal number of cold nights. The stage was also lauded for the best scenery of the past three days, as the trail had riders cruising singletrack high on the sandy ridge above the aquamarine Kootenay River.
Much of today's trail was cut especially for TransRockies by Nipika Mountain Resort owner/operator Lyle Wilson, and the pride of workmanship and desire to create something both scenic and challenging paid off, as many riders were overheard expressing a desire to return in the future with friends and family.
Let's hope teams enjoyed their leisurely Nipika stay - leisurely, that is, when compared with Stage 4, which features 109 kilometres of some of the Kootenay Rockies most remote terrain. This part of the Kootenays is a well-kept secret for many local riders, and the long day will pay off in spades as the journey through this spectacular mountain oasis will give newcomers an authentic Canadian Rockies epic mountain bike experience.
Stage 4: Team Time Trail!
Team Justice Stats (SMITH, Cory & WESELAKE, Nathen)
43 Place Overall!
Team Deadgoat Racing Stats (CLARK, Geoff, DOYLE, Pat)