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Fernie is the start of the Singletrack 6 stage race

Singletrack 6, a stage race throughout the East Kootenays, will start in Fernie on July 23. - Submitted
Singletrack 6, a stage race throughout the East Kootenays, will start in Fernie on July 23.
— image credit: Submitted

Since 2014, Singletrack 6 took over from the Transrockies race as the pinnacle stage race put on by the Transrockies Company. 2016 marks the first year that the offspring of the longstanding race comes to Fernie. Transrockies also organizes events such as the Golden 24 hour race, Rungle’s Revenge Trail Run and the three day Moab Rocks Cross-Country mountain bike stage race.

“It is our third year of the Singletrack 6, which we launched in 2014. It is the first year we have been back to Fernie since we started Singletrack 6,” said President of the Transrockies, Aaron McConnell to The Free Press. “Fernie, of course, was the start or finish host for every year of the original Transrockies challenge for 12 years so we are really looking forward to being back in Fernie for the first two days.”

The first two days will highlight some of Fernie’s most notable trails.

Day one is a 33-kilometre stage with 1,500 metres of elevation. With a start line near The Guide’s Hut on Second Avenue, riders spin toward the Castle and Ridgemont networks. The first singletrack the riders will get their tires on is the Hyperventilation climb which sees riders climb close to 300 metres in 1.8 kilometres. Once at the top, riders point their front wheel down Hyper-extension to connect them to three of the Kush trails. After working their way back up to the top of Hessian, riders get their timed descent of the day with three kilometres and 440 metres of descending before finishing up at the Fernie Aquatic Centre.

Day two is 34 kilometres, with 1,600 metres of elevation. Starting at Fernie Alpine Resort, riders will drop into Snakebite after four kilometres of climbing. The riders will then head toward Island Lake Lodge by riding down Lazy Lizard on their way to the timed descent of the day, Project 9. After 2.4 kilometres and 300 metres of descending they will ride up Stove on their way to descending Dem Bones which will send riders to the last climb and descent to the finish line at the resorts plaza.

McConnell is well versed in the Fernie trail network and is excited to see the race take some of the roots of its predecessor by returning to Fernie.

“I have ridden pretty much everything; there are a few new trails that we managed to squeeze in that have just been finished so we will be able to highlight them,” he said.

Fernie is not the only new destination for the stage race, with Kimberley and Cranbrook also added to the race course.

“We will be headed back to Golden for the last two days as well,” said McConnell.

The event will see international competitors, but McConnell doesn’t count the local talent out.

“We have a number of high profile athletes coming. Sonya Looney is coming, and she is a former 24-hour world champion. We have Andres Hartman coming from Austria; he is a top contender in stage races. We have a bunch of other top athletes coming as well,” he said. “Carter [Nieuwesteeg] is riding from Fernie; I’m sure he will be a top contender. Be sure to watch for him.”

The event will bring over 300 riders to Fernie on July 23 and 24. The race wraps up in Golden on July 28. Registration for the event is open up to the day of the event and can be done through the race’s website Singletrack6.com.

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