BC Bike Race Gravel Explorer – Day 5 Race Report

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Presented by Rapha
Location – Kelowna to Penticton
Distance – 76 km
Vertical – 1176 meters
Results of the fifth stage

Day 5 presented by Rapha – What an instant, what emotion is expressed at the end of a trip, especially a poignant trip that takes you on a whirlwind tour of ‘wherever a gravel bike can go ” ?

Day five was unanimously expressed as a deep mix of emotions, on all levels, from the front rippers to the rear shredders. Each person cycled five stages and saw things, felt things that maybe only exist in thin air; only those who immerse themselves in a difficult experience will ever know. Together, in small bands of intrepid adventurers, they united to overcome a hurdle, a challenge an obstacle that stood before them but here we are at the end. The sun is out, the spectacular panoramas unfold in every moment, every individually gained step or pedal stroke and perhaps all of this previously shrouded in cold mornings, misty rain, burning legs and exploded arms, but ultimately revealed in all its splendor, we have overcome, we are all champions !!

“Super difficult and challenging but exhilarating at the same time every day, it was amazing actually” !!
Nora Kazda

As a déjà vu, the beginning started according to the usual scenario, but today the result would be different. Alexander Fraser-Maraun (Red Truck Racing, Mosaic Homes) took the lead on the first climb and this time he held on to the end, finally, and kudos for having the panache to try every day !! A strong group formed behind in a spirit of solidarity, and they patiently waited for Alexander to fail. But today there would be no recourse, today would be the day when daring stopped!

Behind, Cory Wallace (Kona Endurance Team) patiently led his steed, equipped as some have said with a secret weapon, his Fox Gravel suspension fork, to final victory. Why run when you have a few minutes early, considering it does the BC Bike Race MTB, starting at a few days, maybe better to think about recovery (more on that soon).

“Just to say it’s the most awesome time I’ve had, it was really wonderful, thank you very much.”
David McLean

On the women’s side, the upside-down day that Sammi Runnels (CNCPT Team) experienced yesterday was not repeated, she once again had a clean and solid day, but it was not enough for her to come to the end of a tenacious and persistent, Amity Rockwell (Easton cycling). At the top of the starting climb and through the Myra Canyon they stuck to the same group, with less dynamic singletracks and a fairly traditional course, making a big gap and / or catching a lot of time would be difficult. It turned out that they finished 14th and 15th overall respectively. Sammi’s 32-second gap was not enough for him to regain the lead. So after 5 days, lots of tough trails, mountains, hills and gnarled singletracks, this well-fought battle was decided and finally done, Amity would be the winner. Hopefully we will see these champions again next year to continue this friendly rivalry in the beautiful Okanagan and in the colors of next year’s fall.

At the rear, the very embodiment of sportsmanship unfolded. A small group of cyclists forming part of a larger cycling group, Hugh Oswald, Divyesh Gadhia, Mark Matishak and Sharon Simms Armstrong stayed together through thick and thin to share an adventure of a lifetime. What can you take away from a week of bike racing apart from the shared misery and ultimately the overcoming of a victory together!

“It was amazing, it was everything I hoped for and on top of that, I came here to fight against myself and I won!
Charles Creighton

Ashley Krzeszowski our proverbial sweeper is new to the world of cycling, Covid propelled her and her friends into this crazy sport and at one point she decided to run. Now she is almost moved to tears by her first experience, finding out that she is made of steel – she won’t tell you that, but I’ve seen it before, she is – and can literally do anything. ‘she wants. She can’t wait until next year, but I’m sure she’ll get attached to the racing plates long before !!

“So we had all these crappy college bikes, the Covid shots, and they were closing the parks, no cars were allowed up there, no parking on the road and we kept using our junk bikes for us. move and in the woods. “
Ashley Krzeszowski – Brand New Biker

“That’s what brought me to this, we heard about the BC Bike Race and were so happy to learn more about the Gravel Explorer this year. “
Ashley Krzeszowski – Brand New Biker

The day ended with Alexander Fraser-Maraun (Red Truck Racing, Mosaic Homes) first and Lucas Strain (CNCPT Team) second, what a day, amazing driving from all parts. Jesse Scholtes finished third overall and maintained his overall lead among the 30+ men.

Andreas Kazda and Nora Kazda came from Ontario for a sweet and memorable bike ride, I’m not sure they anticipated what was in store for them. In reflections they were challenged and overcome, found a new part of the world to enjoy and in reflection they believe they will return for many more adventures in BC and the Okanagan.

“It was more than I thought I would, happy enough, I enjoyed every minute”!
Andreas Kazda

Life is short, life is sweet, but it’s the ‘parting is such a sweet heartbreak’ vibe that permeates the farewells that all these new friends have locked onto. BCBR Gravel Explorer set out to move the needle over what is gravel, but we never thought this week would be so magical as galvanizing a small group to be friends bound by experience forever. – our moment together !!

“I’m so sad it’s over, guys, I wish I could do it all over again next week. I learned so much that my bike handling skills improved this week, it was the most amazing experience, I can’t wait to come back next year.
Ashley Krzeszowski – Brand New Biker

Photo credit: Chris Stenberg

Key details

  • Corey Wallace – Open Men’s Overall Winner
  • Amity Rockwell – Open Women’s Overall Winner
  • Super tough and challenging but exhilarating at the same time every day
  • Just to say this is the most awesome time I have had it was really wonderful
  • It was amazing, it was everything I hoped for and more

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