One last night in a real bed, 9 am start....and no rain. Oh ya, here's the funny thing, Day 1 forecast at 8am....sunny and 12 degrees in Fernie....but it's pouring out!!!
Long gravel road climb for 27 km, progressively getting steeper and steeper, topped off with 3 km of singletrack climbing at the top. Jeff and I get an early gap on the other Open Mixed cats, being able to stick with the lead men group for a long time. With about 2 km to the first check stop, Gretchen Reeves and Cannon Stokes sneak up behind us, trails us for a little, then slowly creep by us. We are able to keep them in our sights for the majority of the rest of the climb, loosing them once we hit the singlertrack.
Top of the climb (finally!!!!).....enter the new Porky Blue.... loosing about 1100m of elevation in less then 5 km...yikes. Fast, steep, straight line descents with tight switchback corners built specifically to deter moterbikers from riding (and Norm did it all without a rear brake!).
We reach the bottom and it's prety near a gravel road hammer for another 35km to Sparwood. I'm feeling surprisingly strong along the road (especially once I get my front derallieur re-adjusted so I can actually get into my big ring).
Jeff and I finish the day only 1:38 behind the leaders, tough day....and all I want when I finish is salty fries...but I'll settle for some of Steve Walsh's onion rings...hehe.