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In a sprint finish at day 2 of the BC Bike Race, Jason Sager nipped race leader Chris Sheppard to take the stage win in 2:13:24.
Although Sager (Jamis) won the day, Sheppard (Rocky Mountain Bikes) retained his GC leader status. Team Kona’s Barry Wicks and Kris Sneddon, rounding out the leaders pack, took the Team of 2 stage win in 2:13:26 and also retain GC leader status. Both categories saw a little shuffling in the top places within the stage, but the times remain tight and there is still a lot of singetrack to be covered over the next five days.
Currently the solo GC shows Sheppard with four minutes over Thomas Dietsch (Team BULLS), and seven minutes over Sager and Neal Kindree (Republic Bike Shop/SRAM). There is a battle developing in the Team of 2 GC behind leaders Sneddon/Wicks who have fifteen minutes over the next teams. Marty Lazarski and Ricky Federau (Davinci/Jamis), Greg Day and Colin Kerr (Rocky Mountain Bicycles), and Mitchell Hoke and Brady Kappius (Clif Bar) are all separated by a less than 30 second spread and fighting for position.
The majority of the other Epic GC category leaders remain the same after two days of racing. In the Challenge GC, Grant Fox leads the men, Tanya Berg leads the women, and Denver Poole and Derek Reynolds lead the mixed category.
And adding another twist to the day was the introduction of timed singletrack sections. Two separate segments of singletrack were marked and timed separately within the course to create a “race within the race.” In these sections all racers, regardless of Challenge or Epic, are pitted against each other to find the fastest male and female times.
Andreas Hestler (Rocky Mountain Bikes) and Katrina Strand (Troy Lee Designs/Oakley/Maxxis) each won both of the inaugural “Love the Ride” sections in Stage Two. They were awarded leader’s jerseys and will have the chance to defend their titles on the next “Love the Ride” stage, scheduled for Day 6 in Squamish.
The timed “hotspots” are a new feature in BC Bike Race. While the “Love the Ride” sections are a young category for BCBR this year, the vision is to give more racers a shot at the podium.
“Some climb well, some descend well, some are built for speed and some for distance,” said BCBR’s Andreas Hestler, “The Rocky Mountain Bikes ‘Love the Ride’ section creates the opportunity for a variety of racers to shine each day.”
Next Up: A very picturesque sailing from Vancouver Island to the Sunshine Coast with BC Ferries. Once the ferry docks in Powell River, racers will walk off the ferry and down to the beachfront Base Camp and Start/Finish line area.