The B.C. Bike Race, a seven-day mountain bike stage race from Victoria to Whistler gets underway today at North Vancouver's Centennial Theatre.
More than 450 people from 21 countries are expected to participate in the event, now in its fifth year. After an 11 a.m. briefing the racers will hop a ferry to Vancouver Island and spend the night in a base camp in Cumberland to prepare for the start the next morning.
The epic West Coast singletrack race goes from Cumberland to Campbell River and then heads back to Comox on Day 2. A series of ferry rides takes cyclists through Powell River, Saltery Bay, Earl's Cove, Sechelt and Langdale before landing back on the mainland at Horseshoe Bay on Day 5. From there the racers head north to Squamish and finish in Whistler on July 9.
Two Rocky Mountain "Love the Ride" timed sections will take place on specific legs during the week, allowing organizers to identify the fastest singletracker in two- to eight-kilometre sections of trail on given days.
The timed sections will highlight a specific set of skills and showcase some of the DH (downhill) celebrities in the competition such as Brian Lopes of Team Oakley/Ibis, Mark Weir and Jason Moeschler of Team WTB/Cannodale, and Katrina Strand of Team Dakine.
Participants are given the option of taking either Epic or Challenge routes over the seven-day race with the former averaging approximately 50 kilometres per day while the latter covers 30 kilometres daily. Racers stay at the same base camps but can choose an appropriate route for their biking ability.
A kids' bike race in Squamish will also be held in Brennan Park on Friday, July 8 at 2 p.m.
For complete details visit www.bcbikerace.com.