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Furious3 Fernie, BC 2012 - Day 1
After a rainy week, riders awoke to sunny skies Saturday morning in Fernie, BC, June 30, 2012 ready to tackle Day 1 of the second annual Furious3 – a three day mountain bike stage race. 41kms, including some of the weekend’s longest, most technical downhills, began under the Furious3 arches on first avenue in downtown Fernie with announcers Brett Tippie of freeride mountain biking fame, and the infamous Crazy Larry energizing the crowd as the minutes and then seconds counted down. Families, friends and fans cheered on as nearly 300 racers set off down Cokato Road for an adventurous ride.
To spread the field, riders were taken up a long gravel road to the top of 48 Hours – one of Fernie’s more technical descents. After this adrenaline rush, they climbed up River Road, headed down the bottom of South Castle, and then road to the bottom of Roots where their second big climb of the day began. Hyperventilation (it’s called this for a reason) zig zags its way up Castle Mountain, offering spectacular views of the Lizard Range and Fernie Alpine Resort to those willing to take a peak. Once at the apex, they descended Hyper Extension – a favourite of the day for its fast, flowy and technical attributes.
After Castle Mountain, racers headed to the Ridgemont Trail network where they were challenged with kilometers of undulating terrain right until they reached the long awaited home stretch. Mike Vine of Edmonton, AB and Sloane Anderson of Bend, Oregon were the first to reach the finish at 2:26:13 and 2:26:16, racing right until the end and each taking first in their respective fields (Solo Men Open +40 and Solo Men Open). Shawn Bunnin of Calgary, AB’s Deadgoat Racing was hot on their heals finishing just two minutes behind, and Matthew Krahn two minutes behind Shawn.
The fastest women of the day were in the top 45 riders, with leader Mical Dyck of Victoria BC’s Pro City Racing finishing at 2:45:23, Kate Aardal of Calgary, BC”s Ridley’s at 2:49:12, Rose Grant of Kalispell, MT’s Hammer Nutrition at 2:56:01 and Melanie McQuaid of Victoria, BC and three time Xterra World Champion on their heals at 5:58:13.
It’s going to be a tight race at the front, and a fun ride for all. Tomorrow racers begin at Fernie Alpine Resort and test out some of the famed singletrack here before tackling Provincial Park, Mount Fernie and Ridgemont trails – a longer day with more climbing awaits, and rain is in the forecast.