Singletrack Six champions crowned in Revelstoke
After six days and 250-kilometres in the saddle, Kris Sneddon and Kate Aardal emerged as the big winners of the TransRockies Singletrack Six mountain bike race in Revelstoke on Thursday.
"I'm pretty smoked. I'm ready to relax and drink some beers," said Sneddon after crossing the finish line following the 47-kilometre final stage in Revelstoke.
Sneddon came first in Revelstoke in a time of 2:35:37. The Kona team rider won five out of six stages, to finish almost nine minutes ahead of his teammate Cory Wallace in the overall standings. Matt Hadley finished third overall.
Aardal dominated the women's race, winning five out of six stages and finishing more than 30 minutes ahead of runner up Mical Dyck. The final stage was a close one, with only 65 seconds separating the two women. Jodie Willett finished third overall.
"I'm a little bit surprised," said Aardal as she relaxed by the sprinkler following the race. "I went hard and Mical pushed me to my limits. It's always good to have someone push you."
Amongst the Revelstoke contingent, Chris Bovard finished 21st in the open men category — 1:37 ahead of Bart Jarmula, who was 22nd. The two riders were neck and neck for most of the race, with Bovard pulling ahead in the final stage. Jarmula said he had chain issues early in the stage, costing him time.
"Forty people passed me who were going slower than I should be, then I had to work really hard to pass them. That really took a lot of energy," said Jarmula. "I'm ready to put my feet up."
On the women's side, Meghan Tabor finished 13th, Cindy Maloney was 17th, Amanda Macintosh was 18th, Courtney Rennie was 20th, and Atsuko Knight was 24th. They all cracked the top 20 on their home course.
"It was great on home turf," said Rennie. "I thought it was going to be mentally challenging to know every single trail, but it was a real advantage to know every single climb and every line to take. It was definitely a bonus."
The team of Amy Guidinger and Mick Stevenson finished eighth in the mixed team group.
Thursday's final stage saw the 300 racers take off in a mass start in Grizzly Plaza as the thermometer climbed to a high in the mid-30s. They flew up Mackenzie Avenue, turning right onto Third Street and then making their way across the Big Eddy Bridge, to Highway 23 South, and finally ducking into the Mount Macpherson trail network at the Flowdown entrance.
From there, they had a tough climb out in the sun to Beaver Lake, followed by a long section of single track that brought them over to the Nordic Lodge and across the highway to lower Macpherson trails.
The course bottomed out at Begbie Falls, from where the racers had to climb up the Bluff Trail, back to the Nordic Lodge, and then up to the course's high point at the top of TNT. From there, it was back down, followed by another climb to the top of Flowdown, where the timed descent began. They exited the trail network via Tantrum and then raced back into town, finishing at Begbie View Elementary, where medals, food, water, beer and a sprinkler system awaited them.
"It was super fun, flowy, perfect, hot," said Aardal.
The race started on Saturday in Bragg Creek, Alta. It then moved on to Nipika Resort, Invermere, two days in Golden, before wrapping up in Revelstoke.
"Now I'll just enjoy the rest of the summer," said Rennie. "Back to relaxing biking."
Full results can be found on the Singletrack Six website.