Race results here
What can I say about today's stage other than purely epic!
This mornings race began at the Fernie Alpine Resort, just a few km outside of Fernie BC. Steady rain continued all morning and never let up the entire race. We started on a gravel road with a gradual climb on xc ski trails. It didn't take long for the main pack to separate and by mile 5 there was a small group of 8 of us. The first singletrack section was a very technical section that was a combination of steep ups and downs. Fortunately, the section was very short and before the legs completely filled up with lactic acid we hit another fire road climb. During this climb a few more riders fell off and it was down to 4 of us!
It stayed this way for a long time, until we started to climb on singletrack near Island Lake Lodge and the Fernie Provincial Park when one rider wasn't able to maintain the pace.
Myself, Shawn Bunnin, and Mike Vine strolled through the first aid station and neither of us opted to grab any food/hydration. More steep climbing on singletrack would be the theme for the next 40 minutes or so. With the trails extremely muddy, riding over roots became difficult at times. Around mile 20 three of us stopped at Aid 2 to grab a bottle to provide the energy to finish the final 8 miles.
We descended near the town of Fernie and rode some city trails for a few miles before reaching the final singletrack section (same as final singletrack as yesterday but in reverse direction). At this point the race for the win was "on"! Shawn Bunnin made the move that would stick to win the race. I stayed close but couldn't gain, so I finished 2nd today by a few seconds, leaving me even hungrier for a stage win tomorrow!