Kris Sneddon had little trouble hanging on for his second consecutive BC Bike Race title when the mountain bike stage race wrapped up Saturday, July 5, in Whistler, while a Sea to Sky duo topped the team event.
Squamish riders Quinn Moberg and Greg Day, racing for Rocky Mountain, also put the finishing touches on their Epic-distance Open Team of 2 title on Saturday's short but difficult course through the resort.
Meanwhile, Wendy Simms was the top individual female finisher on Saturday, but wasn't able to make up enough of the deficit on Vermont's Lea Davison, who took the Women's Solo Epic victory by just a couple of minutes.
Official times were not available as riders reached the Whistler Olympic Plaza finish on Saturday, but Sneddon crossed the line right behind the lead group to secure a repeat victory in Men's Solo Epic general classification. And just like in 2013, Kona teammate Spencer Paxson finished right behind him in second spot.
"Pretty tired," Sneddon said with a smile when asked how he was feeling at the end of his seven-day tour of trails on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and Sea to Sky corridor.
"Last year was a bit more of a battle between me and Neal (Kindree). This one wasn't quite as much of a battle... I was sort of battling Spence, but it's not quite the same when he's my teammate. But it feels good."
The Sechelt resident credited teammates Paxson and Barry Wicks, who finished fourth overall, for helping him to the win.
"I wouldn't have been able do it without them," said Sneddon. "Barry saved me when I flatted one day, gave me his wheel and kept me in the race pretty much."
American rider Jason Sager appeared to take the stage victory on Saturday, with the three Kona riders in close pursuit.
Moberg and Day, who were the outright winners of Stage 6 on their home trails in Squamish on Friday - the first two-man team to do so in BC Bike Race history - will go into the books as the Open Team winners by more than 90 minutes.
"I couldn't have asked for a better partner. Greg rode well," said Moberg, who was riding in his first BC Bike Race.
"It was a big learning curve... This was my first mountain bike stage race and it's definitely different. There's no faking it or hiding. You've always got to be on."
Simms came in as the two-time defending champ and was wearing the yellow jersey after five stages this week. But Davison wrestled the lead away in Squamish on Friday, giving her more than four minutes to play with on Saturday to take the overall victory.
"It feels really good, especially because I'm coming back from hip surgery in January," said Davison. "So it feels really good to come back and take a win.
"I can't believe it. Wendy's so strong and this is her backyard. Man, it came right down to the wire."
Final results will be posted at www.bcbikerace.com. See Pique on Thursday, July 10, for a full recap.
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