A six-day mountain bike race ended mercifully in Nelson last weekend.
The Trans BC Enduro was Nelson’s biggest ever mountain bike race, featuring 126 riders from 11 countries. New Zealand dominated the race, with Jamie Nicholl and Meggie Bichard winning the men’s and women’s overall trophies, respectfully, while Matt Patterson took the master men’s 40-plus divison.
Victoria’s Mical Dyck was the top Canadian, finishing second overall in the women’s division. Castlegar’s Dave Sutton finished 12th as the race concluded on Shannon Pass before riders took a celebratory dunk in Kootenay Lake.
Nelson Cycling Club hosted the race Friday and Saturday, and their trail crew drew praise from Adam Craig, who represented America at the 2008 Beijing Games and finished the Enduro second overall.
“Someone built that trail to ride mountain bikes down, and you can certainly ride down it depending on your level of optimism and conditions,” said Craig. “I thought that was a really beautiful trail. To have a little bit of rockwork lets you know that it is a mountain bike trail, and you are going the right way.”
The race started July 5 in Vernon before moving to Pencticton. Rossland hosted two days of the race before riders moved on to Nelson for the final two stages Friday and Saturday.
Day 5 featured rainy conditions that forced a shortened race, although riders still had to complete 40 kilometres through the Selkirk Mountains. The final stage Saturday began above Baldface Lodge, with riders having to navigate snow and mud on their way down Cherry Bowl.
Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism was a race sponsor. Executive director Dianna Ducs said the race highlighted the area as a prime destination for mountain bikers.
“Some riders loved the area so much they stayed for a few days after,” said Ducs. “We welcome them all back, anytime of year, to ride or relax.”