The BC Bike Race closed with a party on the finis line at Whistler’s Olympic Plaza lawn with the sunshine reflecting off the remaining summer snow of the surrounding mountain peaks. As riders crossed the line, getting hugs and medals, their tears mixed with the sweat and dust caked on their faces from the fastest final stage ever at the BCBR. As the riders lazed around in the lawn enjoying their post-race euphoria, stories of the week and more hugs were shared between people who had never met a week earlier.
After one of the most challenging BCBR race weeks for both riders and crew, the relief of riding in the sun on a course that was completely dry was the perfect end to a roller-coaster journey. Incredible racing and riding distinguished this sixth year from the previous five, as the rain and leaders from earlier in the week transitioned on the final day to sunshine and new protagonists fighting for the peak of the podium.
Many stories emerge in a week of racing and each rider has to manage their personal challenges and expectations. For some it’s terrain that differs drastically from their home trails, and with riders from 33 different countries, the languages vary as much as the singletrack.
The large Belgian contingent is accustomed to very little technical terrain but plenty of wet weather. Riders from the countries of Africa like, Egypt, Namibia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and the United Arab Eremites have arid desert landscapes that vary greatly from the deserts of Arizona in the US. Even Canadians from the central and eastern regions are learning a new riding style.
What they all have in common is that they came to the BCBR specifically to ride trails unlike anything else in the world.
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