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Bragg Creek TransRockies 2002 - Stage 5

WHAAAAASSSSSAAAAT!

The TransRockies Race blew through Bragg Creek on August 15 - 16, bringing lots of excitement and a few dashed hopes. It was a whirlwind of activities - cheering the racers at the Start/Finish, setting up a bike wash and bike lock-up area, brewing hot tea to warm the bone-chilled riders at the finish and at the school where they spent the night. We didn't need the canopies for shade from a hot sun, but we did need a bonfire to create a little warmth. Then there was the pasta party to set up and serve. It was a great dinner with a live band and a video of the race through the Kananaskis wilderness that had everyone spellbound.
This was the stage when, according to some reports, about 20 teams were forced out of the race. Our team Bragg Creek of Marg & Kirk weren't forced out, but Kirk was unable to complete the stage and they were seriously bummed out and unsure of their ability to finish, let alone lead their class. They had a 45 minute lead at Sandy McNabb, but dropped to 6th place in Bragg Creek. The good news was our other team. Carolyn Soules of Priddis and Gerry Erikson of Calgary placed 2nd on the Bragg Creek stage of the race.
Stage 5 was a brutal experience for many riders - so bad that they had to shorten the course avoiding the ascent over Powderface Ridge and another cross-country stretch. The leaders completed the entire course, but many riders didn't. And, many more dropped out during the day. One of the Austrian team racers (who were in 1st place overall) was not able to start the day. This race has been billed as the wildest ride. It has certainly lived up to that - just ask the riders hobbling around on crutches or wrapped in casts.
The 5th stage was 100 km of rugged terrain with an elevation gain of 2,840 metres. The trails are strewn with boulders and roots of trees. The rivers were deep, surging torrents of liquid ice. There was snow, sleet, rain and numbing cold. Some of the local riders are taking advantage of their familiarity with the conditions to post excellent results. As they enter the final stage it looks like the Men's team from Canmore will win the race. If they can keep themselves and their bikes healthy.
We owe a huge Thanks to Bow Cycle for sponsoring the activities in Bragg Creek and to their mechanics who worked through the night repairing broken bikes.

Here are some photos of the event.

 

Ontarians

Greg Reain + Michael Dennis, 3rd

 

Julie Dinsdale + Andrew Collins, 10th

Cristina Begy + Megan Harrod, 1st, Coloradians continue to lead women

 

black diamond

Con C. Diamond + Sandy Mitchell, Team Black Diamond

bike wash

Bike wash

mechanic

Bike repair

trick rider

Bike tricks

My bike's broken

 

Marg Fedyna

Pasta Party

 

Home for the night

Mary Ellen Campbell starts race . . .

 

And . . .

They're . . .

 

Off