Photos by John Gibson and Jean McAllister
The exciting thing about stage racing is anything can happen. Seemingly solid leads can disappear almost instantly in a cloud of dust, a flat tire, or simply exhaustion as days of effort stack up and start to push the body in unexpected ways.
For the third day of 2018 Singletrack 6 racers ascended to the top of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort for an alpine start to the days racing. While the gondola ride may have been scenic, start efforts at elevation tested tired legs and, combined with the lengthy descent down to the valley that followed, shook up the overall standings in this years race.
After two days in the lead, a rough day at Kick Horse sent Justin Lendine sliding down to third in the overall standings. Evan Guthrie, who has been consistently at the top of the timed descent leader board, takes over the race lead after Stage 3, with Oregon’s Chris Baddick in second.
Eastern B.C. local Carter Nieuwesteeg finished third at KHMR, jumping up into fifth place overall. Luck ran out for Cory Wallace who, after leading up the third stages alpine start climb, suffered multiple flats and slid outside the top-10. Stage 2 winner Alex McGuinnis also struggled to reach the races halfway mark, and slipped down to fourth in the GC.
Rebecca Beaumont, on the other hand, seemed to settle in just as the race got tough. The Peppermint Racing rider claimed her first stage win of the 2018 Singletrack 6 at Kicking Horse, over two minutes ahead of race leader Jena Greaser.
With wins in the opening two stages, Jena Greaser retains her overall Singletrack 6 race lead. She leads Elyse Nieuwold and Mical Dyck by nearly 10 minutes going into the second half of the event. On Monday, Greaser added a second win in the timed descent portion of the race to her race lead.
The lengthy drop from the top of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort down to the Moonraker trails left enough room for Enduro World Series racer Chris Johnston to take his first timed descent win. The Santa Cruz racer led Simon Andre by just 0.06 seconds to take the top step on the downhill podium. Johnston, who is a regular at West Coast XC Marathons on top of his enduro events, now sits in 12th overall.
Racers contesting the Singletrack 3 – a half-distance version of the six-day event – were presented with a suitably challenging conclusion to an excellent stint of racing in Golden, B.C. A long descent followed by a climb back up to the finish, riders crossed the line exhausted, and happy to have made it through their three days of racing.