Stage Two of the Furious 3 mountain bike race began with an early morning 8am start, as racers were sent off in three waves. The first wave was comprised of the racers who’d posted the fastest times yesterday. Team Mike & Mike (Team PEDAL) were in this group today, having come in an impressive 7th yesterday. Ken, despite having to take a time penalty after his crash, was seeded solidly in the second wave (59th).
Speaking to him this morning, even after crashing hard yesterday, he was in an Advil-induced state of high-optimism, and with a new front wheel (Thanks to Sam Mothana and good folks at the Guide Hut) Ken was looking forward to getting out on the trails. That said, the looming 4,400 feet of elevation had him, and everyone I spoke to, feeling a little apprehensive. Tired and stiff legs, bumps and scrapes are pretty common-place badges of honour for most racers on day two of a stage race.
Pre-Race video highlights:
For those of us hanging around the start/finish line area, it was another beautiful day here in Fernie, with clear blue skies, and temps of 26 degrees – though I’m sure the racers found that a bit hot and the volunteers had to work extra hard to keep the water flowing at all the aid stations. I know I spoke to a couple racers who were cramping in the heat. Even though the stage was only 45km, hydration was key today and anyone who didn’t stay on it, would have suffered big time.
A real highlight today was local Fernie racer, Martin Vale, who hit the finish line first! I had a chance to interview him after and he was all smiles. It was also another good day for team Mike & Mike (Team PEDAL) who, although they found the climbs really hard today, rolled in protecting their position in the standings. Overall, it’s been a good race for them so far, with no injuries, or mechanicals to speak of. Let’s hope day three goes as smoothly as the first two.
Other racers had a tougher time out there though, including Ken, who unfortunately went off course and added, by his estimation, 6 additional kilometres to his day… This didn’t seem to dampen his spirits too much though – on the whole, it was just a great day to be out on the trails regardless.
So, with Stage Two now in the bag, racers can rest up and get ready for the third and final leg tomorrow. It stands to be a moderately shorter course, with less elevation gain, providing what should be a fantastic finale to the inaugural, Fernie edition of the Furious 3 stage race.
Post-race video highlights: