Elements of Victory
Of all the events we attend every year, nothing makes us quite as proud as BC Bike Race. A seven-day international stage race, it's amazing to see so many people from all over the world enjoying our backyard’s choicest trails. It’s a tour of British Columbia’s rugged coast, and some of the world’s most challenging cross country singletrack—all explored while camping between the Pacific Ocean and the coastal mountain ranges.
This year’s 10th annual BC Bike Race was the perfect occasion to give our updated Element platform some real-world marathon XC testing. Bikes and bodies were pushed to the absolute limit over seven days of racing. The weather was wild, the trails were aggressive, and conditions were perfect to put the Element through its paces.
22 year old Quinn Moberg is a young rider from Squamish, BC that’s been with us for several years. It’s been incredible to see him develop into a true force to be reckoned with on the XC circuit, and he had some lofty goals for this year’s BC Bike Race.
Bike Check — Quinn Moberg
“BCBR is probably the roughest cross-country race around. This year’s race was especially cold and wet for all seven days, and I went through the whole race without a mechanical. I think that really says something about the quality of the gear I was running.”
“The new frame was a very big deal for me. I was immediately more confident technically, but also felt more efficiency from the suspension. On this new frame I choose not to run a shock remote, simply because I don’t think it’s necessary. Along with the new bike I was using the new Shimano XT Di2 for the first time. I found the electric shifting to be intuitive and lightning-fast, which was especially helpful when riding unfamiliar trails.” — Quinn Moberg
- Frame: Element 999 RSL T.O. (size Large, Quinn is 5’11”)
- Setup: Neutral RIDE-9™ position
- Shock: Fox Float DPS Factory (100mm, no remote)
- Fork: Fox 34 Factory (120mm)
- Drivetrain: Shimano XT Di2
- Cranks: Shimano XTR
- Brakes: Shimano XTR Race
- Wheels: Stan’s NoTubes Valor
- Tires: Maxxis Ikon 2.2 EXO TR 3C (23 psi front, 24 psi rear)
- Bars: Race Face Next 35mm (10mm rise, cut to 740mm)
- Stem: Race Face Turbine 35mm (80mm)
- Grips: Race Face Half Nelson
- Saddle: WTB Silverado Carbon
- Seatpost: Race Face Turbine dropper post (100mm)
- Pedals: Shimano XTR Race
- Weight: 23lb
Stage 6: Squamish, Presented by Shimano
The Squamish stage is always a crowd favourite. From raw, steep, and technical singletrack, to smooth, flowy jump trails, there’s a reason that Squamish is on a lot of riders’ bucket lists. There’s something for everyone on this stage, but after five previous stages it’s got the potential to crush even the strongest riders.
- Distance: 53 km / 33 miles
- Climbing: 1,944 m / 6378 ft
- Average Time: 4 hours 57 minutes
- Winning Time: 2 hours 43 minutes
With one stage win under his belt already, Quinn had his eyes firmly on taking top-spot on his home terrain. But, with a strong field in play, and several competitors working together to protect the lead from the young local, a win in Squamish would be no easy task.
Quinn’s racecraft belies his years, and he came into the day committed to the strategy of winning on the descents he was all-too familiar with. He executed his plan by pushing hard to enter the opening section of singletrack three corners ahead of his nearest competitors, and then proceeded to nail all his lines while his opponents’ small mistakes began to stack up a time deficit.
From there, Moberg held onto his lead and put several minutes into the rest of the pack. Arms up across the line, he’d accomplished his goal. These 55 kilometers of racing have been the competitors’ favorite stage over the last few years, and to take the win here was a massive accomplishment.
As BC Bike Race celebrates its ten year anniversary, we’re reflecting on where we have come from. The event, our bikes, and the trails here have all evolved in parallel. The bikes we race today, with advanced suspension platforms, dropper posts, and properly aggressive geometry, are nothing like the past. Neither are the trails that are built by dedicated clubs and meticulous trailbuilders. As for the event, it’s evolved from riding a lot of gravel and piecing together little bits of flow, to riding a ton of handcrafted singletrack masterpieces.
“BC Bike Race is a rough, tough, seven day singletrack adventure. Throughout the week, bikes and bodies take some serious abuse. The best bikes for this event aren’t pure XCO whips or enduro sleds, but something else instead. This year I rode the new Element, and it excelled over multiple days of demanding terrain, and delivered a hell of an experience. I’ve ridden many different bikes over the years, and I can say without hesitation that this is the best bike I’ve ever ridden.” — Andreas Hestler, BC Bike Race
“Racing at home is a bit different than racing anywhere else for me. I feel a strong sense of community here and there are so many people that support me and allow me to do what I do. I put a lot of pressure on myself to win races at home because I treat it as my end of the deal. People in town support me, cheer for me, guide me, and motivate me. This is my way of giving back to all those people.” — Quinn Moberg
Thanks to the whole BCBR crew, the many volunteers, and all the trailbuilders for helping make this event possible! Thanks to Tristan Uhl's moustache for existing, Tippie for keeping the stoke high at all times, and Andreas Hestler for repping BC on a global stage. Thanks to Manuel Weissenbacher, Andreas Hartmann, Greg Day, Sammi Runnels, Udo Bolts, Carsten Bresser, and all the other racers who came to battle it out. And of course, a huge congrats to Quinn Moberg for taking two stage wins and claiming fourth in the GC!
See you all next year!
Video by Mindspark Cinema
Photography by Margus Riga & Norma Ibarra
2015 BC Bike Race
BC Bike Race is an undertaking that has to be experienced to be understood. It's more than just riding the trails or entering a race—it’s a life-changing event, and you need every participant to make it that.
Rocky Mountain athlete and BCBR head honcho Andreas Hestler shakes off the nerves for day one in Cumberland.
Geoff Gulevich brought his freeride game, tires, and handlebar-moustache to BCBR.
This year we brought a full roster of XC racers, ambassadors, freeriders, distrubutors, dealers, and friends. Geoff Gulevich left his full-face behind and slathered on the chamois butter. Adventure-loving Tito Tomasi was hemmed in by pink race tape and spandex but swore he would take adventurous lines every day.
Andreane Lanthier Nadeau came off a surprise Hood River Enduro win to show the Solo Women’s category how to descend on an XC bike. Local boy Quinn Moberg had something to prove as one of the youngest racers in this year’s Men’s Solo category. And Kevin Calhoun and Greg Day, who compete against each other in the local race scene, teamed up to take on the Men’s Team category.
This year’s BCBR was one of the toughest in the race’s 9 year history. Technical trail and ribbons of singletrack combined with temperatures in the 30’s challenged racers on all fronts. Each stage showed the character of the town, and how diverse the trails can be across BC's landscape.
Dave Vunic keeps the streets safe as an RCMP officer by day, and ripped it up to 13th place in Men’s Solo.
Christoph Listmann puts the hammer down on the flats.
Powell River was a highlight for us this year. The spectacular campground was on Willington beach for two nights next to the ocean. The trails there exemplified true singletrack racing, snaking brown pow through the sea of green moss. Each stop left its mark on the racers, whether literally or figuratively—there were lots of IV's being hooked up and bandages wrapped.
Kristen Gross showing BC that the California girl can rally the rocks in Squamish.
Quinn Moberg leading out from Sechelt to Langdale.
Michael Anthes in his element.
Our athletes both local and far-reaching couldn’t have made us more proud. After seven days of racing, the team of Greg Day and Kevin Calhoun took the overall win in the Elite Team category. Young gun Quinn Moberg worked hard all week, taking the stage win in his home town of Squamish and finishing the race 4th overall in Solo Men. Andreane Lanthier Nadeau took 4th in the women’s Solo, with Kris Gross hot on her heels in 5th.
How's your game face? Kevin Calhoun putting on a game face clinic from the start line.
Mr. Tito Tomasi. A wildman that is not afraid of grizzly bears or pushing his Thunderbolt BC Edition hard.
The German Bike Mag - Rocky Mountain team of Christoph Listmann and Michael Anthes took 2nd Place in the Veteran Team category. Udo and his brother Harty Bolts finished 2nd in their Team category. Udo raced in the Tour de France, in case the name sounds familiar. And in the Masters Solo Men's Thorsten Keller took the second step.
Race organizer and Rocky Mountain veteran Andreas Hestler rode to an impressive 9th place. Mike Sarnecki took 12th, Dave Vunic 13th, Tito Tomasi in 17th, and Geoff Gulevich 64th—not bad for a guy who normally does backflips not swtichbacks.
Greg Hayes, a veteran of the North Shore, showing he's not yet in the Veteran's category.
Hilscher Manfred wears a dusty grin after another day on course.
Our race mechanics were sweating in the heat to make sure that racers' bikes were in top form each day.
Every photo of ALN sees her smiling. After all it was her birthday on July 3rd, and 2nd place in Whistler on Day 7 served as a nice present.
Our thanks go out to BC Bike Race for having us on as a sponsor of such a great week of riding and impressions. We couldn’t have done it without the help of Fox Racing Shox, Shimano, Stan’s notubes, Smith Optics, Maxxis, WTB, FSA, Honey Stinger, Kicking Horse Coffee, Race Face, FTI Consulting, and IGUS. The event itself could not be done without the long list of volunteers and organizers, thank you for all your help and patience along the way. Especially with our beer garden and kids pool…