Stage three of the TransRockies Challenge shifted from downtown Fernie for a loop from Fernie Alpine Resort. Today’s route travels 30.5 km with 1600 metres of elevation gain on trails such as Verboten, Project Nine, Hedonism, Megasaurus and Rumplestumpskin. The damper weather may be keeping the dust down for the last day of racing in Fernie.
Yesterday, day two of the TransRockies Challenge began in similar fashion to the first. Rolling out of bed in the morning riders were once again treated to blue skies and crisp, clean mountain air. A 9 am start was the order of the day and, once again, the TR3 and TR7 contingent along with the one-day TransFondo riders were lead down Victoria Ave by the historic Fernie fire engine. A 44.5 km loop with 1700 m of elevation gain saw the riders start and finish in the same location. The 30 km climb from town to the start of the Porky Blue Trail threw a mixture of gravel road, doubletrack and singletrack at the riders before descending back into town to the finish.
TR7 Solo Recap: Judging by the level of competition, the addition of the solo category this year has proven to be a solid and entertaining decision. Even with the long climb from town, Oliver Zurburegg, Calle Friberg and Cory Wallace reached the summit in a mere 1 hour and 40 minutes. They maintained that order at the finish line, providing some excitement, with a strong push by all three riders for the Open Men’s stage win. Zurburegg crossed the line in 2:15:11 followed by Friberg at 2:15:12 and Wallace at 2:15:15.
At the end of Sunday the same three ladies stood atop the Women’s Open podium. The order was different with Czech rider Petra Klamkova improving on a third place Stage One finish to take top honors, in 2:45:25, over Jean Ann Berkenpas and Mical Dyck. 40+ Men’s Stage One victor, Leighton Poidevin claimed a second place win in 2:11:23 with Beat Zumstein taking his first 50+ Men’s TransRockies stage win in a time of 2:47:44.
TR7 Team Recap: The Sram XX1 team of Michael Tobin and Mike Kloser continued to dominate the Men’s 100+ category with a staggering 35 minute win on Sunday. However, team Louis Garneau Quebec riders Sebestian Cadieux Duval and Marc-Andre Daigle posted the best time of the day in 2:24:23, 40 seconds ahead of Tobin and Kloser, for the Men’s Open victory. Geoff Clark and Juancito Garcia Casatti rounded out the men’s side of the TR7 Team with a two and half-minute stage win in 2:54:01 in the 80+.
The Open Mixed division has been completely owned by Daniela Storch and Lutz Baumgaertel of Germany. They won Stage two by 25 minutes in 2:54:00. Jodie Willet and Cathryn Zeglinksi claimed a second Open Women stage win in a time of 3:05:09.
With one stage remaining on the TR3 side, the competition is heating up. Melanie McQuaid has ticked off two straight stage wins over Sandra Walter but maintains a slim overall lead of just one minute and 20 seconds after a 2:38:37 effort yesterday. The Men’s Open division saw similar competition with Mike Vine of Team Planet Foods/Honey Stinger moving up from a third place victory Saturday and taking the win in 2:20:14. Matt Hadley maintained his overall lead in the General Classification by a slim 1:34 over Michiel Van Aelbroeck.
Multiple flats on Stage One left Ian Auld charging hard in the 40+ Men’s division. Stage two saw him make up seven of the 20 minutes he lost Saturday while clocking a time of 2:31:17. Tony Routley had his hands full in the 50+ Men’s with Tom Ebbern. Only one second separated them Sunday with times of 2:48:56 and 2:48:57, respectively.