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Is there any better way to end a race on a hot day than with a cool swim in the lake?

After a 36.7 kilometre pedal through the forests just outside Nanaimo, racers descended to Westwood Lake—a popular summer chill out spot in this mid-island city—and enjoyed a refreshing swim or a quick dip.

The lakeside finish was a highlight for racers.


Today was a long day for both crew and racers. We had a 9 am remote start 45 minutes north of our Crofton basecamp, followed by a move to our Cumberland basecamp. So the screaming chicken needed to rouse everyone at 5:45 am to ensure enough time for breakfast and packing up.

It was a big day of moving a lot of bikes and people from Crofton to Nanaimo and then from Nanaimo to Cumberland.


Before racers rolled out to the trails, we thanked Mosaic Forest Management for providing access to private managed forest lands for today’s stage. We presented them with a $3,000 donation to Tillicum Lelum Friendship Centre and another to Cumberland Community Schools Society.


Of course, we also needed to mark our neighbour’s special day. Johnny Rock made a special appearance with his electric rendition of the Star Spangled banner before we sent racers off into the forest.


With fewer kilometres than yesterday and slightly less technical terrain, Nanaimo offered a modest reprieve for racers unaccustomed to British Columbia’s rocky, rooty mountain terrain. But with higher temperatures than in the previous 3 days, Nanaimo demanded that racers pay careful attention to their hydration.

Returning to the start line at John Barsby School, many racers had big smiles and were saying this was their favourite day so far.

Want the full story on today’s stage and how the pro riders performed?



After all the riding was done, riders had a chance to relax with a beverage from Vancouver Island Brewing, socialize and cool off at the misting station.

Above: Brett Tippie always finds creative ways to give away sponsor prizes like Lazer helmets.
Below: One of Tippie’s challenges was to beat him in a thumb wrestling match. Many tried but none succeeded.

Tomorrow we wake up and ride in Cumberland, our final Basecamp. As small town that seems to live and breath mountain biking, Cumberland is sure to be a treat for this year’s racers.

Words by Carmel Ecker
Photos by Deniz Merdano, Jens Klett and Carmel Ecker



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