Held every year in July for the past 13 years, the BC Bike Race is a week-long, seven-stage race that takes place on mountain bike trails northwest of Vancouver, BC. Riders bounce around from island to island on the BC Ferries before finishing the week on the famed trails of Squamish.
New this year was a 4km prologue to determine call-ups for the first stage. The week-long race is scored as a time-based omnium, with cumulative times added up over the eight days of racing.
Much like the Lost and Found Gravel Grinder, the BC Bike Race is another annual tradition for Katerina Nash (Clif Pro Team). Nash won the GC in 2015, 2017 and 2018, and she headed north to BC looking for her 4th overall title in 2019.
Nash has been dominant in most of her wins, racking up wins of upward of an hour in the GC standings. The only exception was 2017 when her then-teammate Maghalie Rochette took her down to the wire in a narrow 53-second win for Nash.
This year, Nash picked up her fourth GC win with a winning margin of 32:49.
“I’m happy. My bike finished with the same set up that I started the race with. There were a few stages where I wish I had a different front tire but I was too tired to change it,” Nash said. “After coming back to BCBR numerous times I know the stages pretty well and I know the pacing.”
Nash’s closet competition this year was another cyclocrosser in Courtenay McFadden (Pivot – Maxxis p/b Stan’s NoTubes). McFadden wrapped up second overall after the final stage, although it did not come easy.
“My legs were smashed after yesterday. I could barely stand up in the shower,” McFadden said after finishing. “This even was much harder than I expected.”
Jena Greaser (Gear Hub Sports – Canadarail.ca – Rocky Mountain) rounded out the GC podium. Other notable ’cross and gravel results include Serena Gordon in 7th overall and Emily Werner in 14th.
Top 25 results for the Solo Women GC are below.
The Solo Men’s GC came down to a battle between two Canadians in Felix Burke (Rocky Mountain) and Geoff Kabush (Yeti – Maxxis – Shimano). The 2 battled wheel-to-wheel through the first 5 stages, with Burke holding a slim 3-second advantage on Kabush with 2 stages left to go.
Then, the decisive Stage 6 along the Sunshine Coast happened. Burke smashed the stage, winning by almost 2 and a half minutes and finishing 3:33 ahead of Kabush. Burke went on to win Stage 7 to secure his GC win.
“I knew that if I could build up a lead that I could hold onto it. I’m super stoked, now it’s time to party,” Burke said after wrapping up his win.
Kabush took second overall, and Kerry Werner (7Mesh Kona) finished the GC in third.
Other notable results include Payson McElveen (Orange Seal Off-Road Team) in 4th, Michael van den Ham (Kazlaw – 100% – RaceFace) 7th and Tim Johnson in 18th.
Top 25 results for the Solo Men GC are below.
The solo riders were not the only cyclocrossers in BC last week. ’Cross teammates Stephen Hyde (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld) and Kaitie Keough (Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld) teamed up to race the Mixed Team category. Probably not surprsingly for anyone who follows cyclocross, the duo won their category by an hour and 44 minutes.
Keough commented on the relatively new experience of racing mountain bikes, “I didn’t really mountain bike before this summer. BC Bike Race has been like a crash-course in technical riding.”
Open Women Top 25: 2019 BC Bike Race GC
Open Men Top 25: 2019 BC Bike Race GC
|7||Michael Van Den Ham||16:49:20||+1:05:34|