Early on it was evident the adrenaline was pumping as the leaders jockeyed for position. Several riders were claimed by the course, sustaining injuries that would lead to an unexpected end to the day. The lead group made quick work of the route and, once again, TR3 leader Neal Kindree claimed the stage win to retain his overall Open Men’s lead. On this day, Kindree paired up with fellow Specialized rider Evan McNeely to work the climbs together. Alternating the lead allowed these two to save valuable energy resulting in a tandem finish, and times of 2:06:41 and 2:06:45 respectively, in the plaza at Fernie Alpine Resort. The status in the Ladies TR3 remained unchanged as Mical Dyck took her second stage win and widened her overall lead to a whopping 14 minutes and 42 seconds. Ian Auld, TR3 40+ leader, was able to hold off Jeff Neilson and managed to increase his lead in the overall with a victory under the ‘Legendary Fernie’ arch.
The storyline for the TR7 wasn’t quite so cut and dry. While 3 of the 5 category leaders remained unchanged there was a shakeup in two of the standings possibly due, in part, to injury. The team of Harry Johnson and Andrew Seessel rode strong to improve on a 4th place stage one finish to take the TR7 100+ lead with a victory in 3:23:55. Pat Doyle and Craig Bartlett, 2nd in yesterday’s stage by a mere 21 seconds, took top honors today and moved into the overall lead in the Men’s 80+.
Open Men’s leaders Jon Firth and Stefan Widmer added a second consecutive stage win on the, according to Firth, ‘sweet, sweet singletrack’ and lengthened their overall lead over Greg Day and Colin Kerr of Rocky Mountain Bicycles Factory Team. Normon Thibault and Wendy Simms continued to lead the Open Mixed with a stage 2 victory and displayed a touch of class stopping for an injured rider until medics were able to respond. The duo of Sandra Walter and Jean Ann Berkenpas continued their domination of the Open Women extending their overall lead to over one hour.
Tomorrow the TransRockies Challenge re-starts on the Plaza at Fernie Alpine Resort and will test the riders with 1800km of riding over 31km before descending into beautiful Island Lake Lodge.
For results and photos log into www.transrockies.com/trc.