Singletrack 6 – Stage 6 – Golden, BC

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.

Riders enjoying some of that incredible Singletrack 6 one-track. Photo by Gibson Images

Riders enjoying some of that incredible Singletrack 6 one-track. Photo by Gibson Images

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).

Marlee Dixon leads over a bridge. Photo by Gibson Images

Marlee Dixon leads over a bridge. Photo by Gibson Images

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.

Dropping in. Photo by Gibson Images

Dropping in. Photo by Gibson Images

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.

Click Here for full results from Stage 6

Click Here for final GC results following Stage 6 

Singletrack 6 – Stage 4 – Kimberley, BC

Another Day of Excitement at Singletrack 6 as Men’s GC Lead Changes Hands Again; Sonya Looney Continues Winning Streak on Planet Foods Stage 4

Written by: Marlee Dixon

Heading back toward the mountains, Singletrack 6 moves to Kimberley for today’s stage.

Stage 4 is a night and day difference from Cranbrook riding.  Racers start off in the quaint Bavarian-ish downtown area and immediately climb up the road to the ski resort. At the ski resort they continue climbing on the biggest ascent of the day.  Once at the top, racers head onto the most technical section of the course, a large rocky flat section, technical enough that many racers were forced to run/walk for a few hundred feet.  Next it’s more moderate switchback climbing into the first descent of the day. A fun, flowy, berm trail, giving racers a taste for the fast descending on this course.  With one steep grunt climb and some smaller more frequent climbs; racers are rewarded each time with bomber fast descents to follow.  After doing the second largest climb of the day, racers head onto the day’s timed descent. An ear to ear grinning downhill over three trails – Thunder Turkey, Shapeshifter and Hoodoo View dropping racers almost 1000’ in just over 3 miles. Today’s stage was definitely about the descending, work hard and fast to gain position on the climbs to bomb down some epic singletrack.

For the pro men, Mathieu Belanger-Barrette (Pivot Cycles) won the stage in 1:59:50 followed by Andreas Hartmann (Craft-Rocky Mountain Factory Team) in 2nd (2:00:44) and a tie for 3rd between Patrick Chartrand and Marc-Andre Daigle (Garneau) in 2:03:20.

Belanger-Barrette and Chartrand worked together time-trailing the climbs to beat teammates Hartmann and Manuel Weissenbacher (Craft-Rocky Mountain Factory Team) to the descents.  Working together on the climbs, they capitalized on their descending skills to gain time on the Craft-Rocky Mountain factory teammates.

Marc-Andre Daigle hitting the trees in Stage 4. Photo courtesy of Singletrack 6

Marc-Andre Daigle hitting the trees in Stage 4. Photo courtesy of Singletrack 6

After the timed descent, Belanger-Barrette pulled away on the next climb for the win.  Manuel Weissenbacher flatted on course, losing 10 minutes and dropping to 8th on the stage. Chartrand and Diagle, who tied for 3rd, were teammates last year and won the men’s open duo field at Singletrack 6. Stage 1 winner Rotem Ishay was unable to bounce back from his difficult day in Cranbrook finishing outside the top-10 in today’s race.

For the second straight day big changes were seen in the overall classification for the men as Belanger-Barrette jumped into first (total 4-day time 8:15:49), followed by Hartman in 2nd (8:17:25) and Weissenbacher in 3rd (8:22:35).


For the pro women it was Kathryn McInerney who charged ahead up the first climb. Once on top of the first climb in the technical rocky flat section, Sonya Looney (FreakShow/Defeet) maneuvered past her into first. She remained in first for the rest of the race and won the stage in a time of 2:20:45.

Up until the timed descent Kate Aardal (Ridleys Cycles), Marlee Dixon (Pivot Cycles/DNA Cycling) and Kathryn McInerney battled for 2nd-4th.

Once on the timed descent, Aardal passed Dixon and remained in 2nd for the rest of the race. She finished in 2:22:23. Dixon finished in 3rd (2:23:03) with Jodie Willett (For the Riders) passing McInerney for 4th place (2:26:39).

Looney remains first overall, widening her gap to 10 minutes over Aardal (2nd).   Dixon again moved back into 3rd after dropping to 6th following stage 3.

Looney and Aardal continue to increase their leads in the race while 3rd-6th place continue to change up and remain ~3 minutes apart.

Next up is Golden BC for both stages 5 and 6. Tomorrow’s stage is the shortest stage at 19 miles with 4000’ ft of elevation gain over some purpose built trails and rocky fun descents. The talk between racers is that the riding in Golden is awesome.

Click Here for full results from Stage 4

Click Here for GC results following Stage 4