Matieu Belanger-Barette and Sonya Looney Take Overall Glory at Singletrack 6: Rotem Ishay and Kate Aardal take Tinhorn Creek final stage honors
Written by: Marlee Dixon
Today was the last day of Singletrack 6, the sixth stage and ‘Queen stage’ of the race. It’s the longest day on the bike, almost twice the distance of the shorter days, at 35 miles with 5400’ of elevation gain.
It was a tough day on the bike and an awesome course to end the race. The trails were beautiful, flowy, singletrack with nonstop great riding. Even though the course has a lot of elevation gain, it doesn’t feel that much harder than previous days because of all the rolling ascents. With each climb, racers were rewarded with a lot of fast descents, and fun riding. The course takes racers to the top of stunning, sheer cliffs with spectacular views, where it’s impossible not to look up for a second or two and take it in.
With 3 aid stations and a whiskey/ whipping cream stop, for racers just looking to have a fun day on some great trails, today had some of the best riding of the week. For racers going hard, todays route made for a challenging, endurance test.
For the pro men, Rotem Ishay (Jamis Bikes) won the stage in a time of 2:47:28; followed by Mathieu Belanger-Barrette (Pivot Cycles) in 2nd (2:50:01) and teammates Manuel Weissenbacher and Andreas Hartmann (Craft-Rocky Mountain Factory Team) tying for 3rd (2:51:02).
Teammates Weissenbacher and Andreas Hartmann took off in the front up the first road climb but not long after, Ishay took over the lead followed by Belanger-Barrette. From there Ishay, after having stomach issues the last few days was finally feeling good again, picked up the pace and pushed to stay in the lead.
For the overall competition, Belanger-Barrette wins in a time of 12:52:04 followed by Weissenbacher in 2nd (12:58:59) and Hartmann in 3rd (13:00:16).
For the pro women, Kate Aardal (Ridley Cycles) was first, from the start today, and won in a time of 3:16:03. Sonya Looney (FreakShow/Defeet) followed in right behind Aardal in 2nd (3:17:17) and Jodie Willett (For the People) came in 3rd (3:18:03).
Aardal was in 1st for most of the race with Looney catching her a few times. Willett and Marlee Dixon (Pivot Cycles) vied back and forth for 3rd place until Dixon dropped a chain after the timed descent and wasn’t able to catch her again.
For the overall, Looney wins in a time of 14:53:49, Aardal comes in 2nd (15:03:51) and Willett gains 3rd (15:28:46) overtaking Marlee Dixon on the final stage.
Singletrack 6 ‘Ride the Rockies’ moved through 4 towns this year including Fernie, Cranbrook, Kimberley and Golden, British Columbia. Every day offered racers new trail systems with very different terrain, bringing out an experience unlike any other stage race. With the top finisher averaging a 10 mph speed most stages, each course was challenging with a lot of climbing but also well planned to offer epic descents and great singletrack riding. By changing locations each year, Singletrack 6, is constantly bringing racers to some of Canada’s best mountain biking trails. Next year hits the west Kootenays including the town of Rosslin and the world famous “Seven Summits” trail. The course is sure to be yet another awesome week of racing.