I am typing this from the hotel in Fernie, BC Canada, just one day after the finish of the 3-day Trans Rockies TR3 race. Overall I have to say that I am completely satisfied with how well the race was organized and the amazing food that was provided to the racers each day and night. There was no shortage of "fuel" to say the least.
I am going to keep this post short as i am restricted to 30 min. of computer time, so here is a brief recap of the race.
Day 1: A 19 mile Prologue (or basically a TT) on the trails of Fernie, BC. This doesn't seem like a difficult stage on paper, however, this was probably the hardest day of the 3 days. Rain had fallen over the past two days and made the trails quite muddy and very slippery. Non- UCI riders were staged first and went off in the morning while UCI riders went in the afternoon. My start time was 1:43pm. The rain was falling in the morning but by the time I started the rain had stopped.
The amount of off-camber, rooted trails combined with the super steep climbs made for a tricky day of riding. This as they say was a true mountain bikers course. I finished 8th overall and was completely exhausted at the finish.
Day 2: A 44 mile Epic Day on mostly fireroads but a killer climb for the first 12.5 miles. The pack split up into a group of about 15-20 riders after mile 4. I was riding with Barry Wicks and Kris Sneddon for the majority of the climb. The came the sweet ass descent that seemed to go on for ever. This was probably the longest downhill I have ever ridden. Very steep in sections, and a few 180 degree switchbacks kept you on the edge the whole time. Even though I had my fingers on the brakes most of the way down to help control the speed I was still reaching speeds of over 25mph. By the time I reached the bottom and popped back on a fireroad my hands were almost numb. I finished 7th overall today and made up some ground on the guys in front of me. I am still sitting in 8th overall though.
Day 3: The final Stage was another 40+ mile day in the saddle in which we crossed the Continental Divide going from British Columbia in to Alberta. We also would ride through the Canadian Rockies, so the scenery was breathtaking. The word for today however, was hike-a bike. After the first 10 miles or so on fireroad to help split the pack up, we hit the singletrack and a few creek crossings. Then came the endless miles of hike-a-biking. I would have to guess we hiked for nearly 3-4 miles total and most of it all at one time. It was either through overgrown bushes where you could hardly see the trail, or on very rocky steep sections. By the time we crossed into Alberta, I was riding with Adam Craig and we each commented on the amount of hiking...it wasn't good. He mentioned that it was similar to La Ruta except not quite as muddy. The Canadian Rockies were amazing and the trail felt completely remote. I didn't see any wildlife (we did have to carry bear spray with us) unfortunately. I finished just behind Carl Decker and Adam Craig in 7th place with a time of 3:53.
Here's the bad part. After checking the results a few hours later in the hotel here in Fernie, BC I noticed I was penalized a 1 hour time penalty. I'm not sure what this is a result of, but I am trying to contact the race officials and UCI to clarify this. UCI points and a good cash prize were up for grabs for all UCI riders, so I'm concerned about not getting either. After a 9th and two 7th place finishes, I believe I was 8th overall. However, with the 1 hour penalty, this would put me out of the Top 10.
Stay tuned as I learn more about the result of the penalty.