Three stages in, 2019 BC Bike Race has had its first new winner. While racing has been incredibly tight every day, Felix Burke and Katerina Nash have closely guarded the top step of the podium.
On the second day of racing in the village of Cumberland, on Vancouver Island, Geoff Kabush finally ousted Burke to take his first BCBR stage win of the year.
Of course, Kabush is no stranger to winning at BC Bike Race, or to the Comox Valley trails. The veteran Canadian rolls into 2019 as the defending BCBR champ. While Nash, also defending her 2018 win, has had a clean run so far, Kabush has run right into Burke. Having grown up and learned to ride in the area, Kabush used his home turf advantage to out sprint his young challenger.
Solo Women, BCBR 2019 Day 3 – Nash unstoppable
Katerina Nash (Clif Pro Team) has won each stage this year, but not without a serious challenge. Courtenay McFadden (Pivot-Maxxis) and Jenna Greaser (Rocky Mountain) have both been looking to unseat the Queen of BC Bike race.
Nash brings a wealth of experience to the table, though. The Olympian showed little sign of fatigue as she rode across the finish line, smiling, for another stage win. McFadden was second again, three minutes back, with Greaser following in third.
Solo Men, BCBR 2019 Day 3 – Kabush kicks hard for the win
BC Bike Race may be a multi-day marathon, but the Solo men’s race is playing out inch by inch, second by second. Felix Burke (Rocky Mountain) had built a lead of just four seconds over the opening days of racing. Riding in second, defending BCBR champion Geoff Kabush (Yeti-Maxxis) had rarely been more than a few feet from the young racers back wheel. Behind the dueling duo, a trio of American challengers that have rarely been more than a minute off the pace.
As the race crossed towards Nikkei Mountain after a second serving of the recently-extended Vanilla trail, Kabush was once again glued to Burke. the pair dropped into Rhizome’s drops and unexpected woodwork wheel-to-wheel, emerging locked together for another sprint to the line.
“It would have to be a pretty violent attack to make any big gains, but I haven’t seen any weakness in Felix. He’s definitely comfortable on these trails,” Kabush said, after claiming his first stage win by just 1-second over Burke. “I’m focused on keeping it smooth, but a lot of the guys are twisting the throttle on and off, trying to take advantage of their technical skills.”
Kerry Werner (7Mesh – Kona) Payseen McElveen (Orange Seal – Trek) and Benjamin Sontag (Clif Pro Team) followed closely in a tight trio. Werner emerged from 50-to-01 in front, claiming the final spot on the podium.
In the Solo Masters Women’s race, Ottawa’s Tricia K Spooner is enjoying the Cumberland dirt so much she’s decided to move across Canada and relocated to the Vancouver Island outdoor paradise. It’s Spooner’s third time at BC Bike Race.
“Today’s course was pretty slippery. People thought it was going to be easy because it was short, but it wasn’t,” Spooner said, celebrating another top podium finish in Solo Masters Women, well ahead of 2nd place finisher Adriana Robles of Mexico.
In her first year out in 2017, Spooner showed her training in Ottawa’s Gatineau Hills could translate to B.C. gnar. She won the Solo Master’s Women’s race that year, then dropped to fourth in 2018. For Lucky Year 13, she is looking to return to the top.
After two days of racing in Cumberland, riders board BC Ferries to depart Vancouver Island for Powell River and the loamy trails of the Sunshine Coast.