Dave's Report - August 17, 2007

5th stage of Transrockies into Elkford

The 3rd stage started from Nipika and also ended in Nipika, due to the fire danger in the Crows Nest Pass that cancelled that stage. The 4th was from Nipika to Whiteswan. These last two stages of the Transrockies took their toll on some of the field. There were evacuations by helicopter for some of the more serious crashes, and the inevitable torn bike clothes, along with horrible looking skin removal mixed with dirt and mud , and of course the stitches to pull it all together. One Vancouver rider ended up with 5 fractured verterbrae, a broken shoulder blade and dislocated shoulder. Such is the price that some pay for riding events like this. Considerably more bandaged legs ,knees and arms were to be seen. But also very noticeable were the huge smiles as riders ended the 5th stage at Elkford. From those finishing faster than they thought they would, as well as those who actually finished, really make this race the great challenge it is proving to be. The final descent over the Rock Garden saw many riders walking their bikes over what sounded to us like the place only lunatics would ride. Having said that, one team came in saying that that was the most fun they had had all tour. There is no accounting for the mental state of some cyclists. One European rider crossed the finish line yelling � I saw a bear, I saw a bear � , which sounded like the highlight of his day.

The Fernie contingent is still riding very well. Todd and Sean, Pat and Ron, Tim, Brad and John O�Shannassy all finishing strongly with no injuries or major mechanicals. Flat tyres seem to be par for the course. Unfortunately Brendan Morgan and Arthur Sombrowski broke a derailleur not far from the start at Whiteswan which put a big dent in their time for that stage. Derek Berry was having some major knee problems by the end of yesterday�s tough descent. Fingers crossed for Team Berry that he will not suffer too much over the last 2 stages. Here are a few photos from the finishing line at Elkford.

Kevin now a spectator after a somewhat disastrous fast descent crash.

First girl over the line, she is some athlete.

Another casualty Yoko Kodama, also airlifted out during stage 2.

Great legs, love the bandages.

Brad Pochay and Dirk, glad to see the finish line.

John O'Shannassy teamed up with Jim Johnson for this leg. Recorded a good time.

Sean and Todd, riding really well. Happy with their performance.

Support Pepper glad to see Pat and Ron over the line, again in great time.

Great cheers from the Elkford supporters as their boys, Matt and Rocky cross the line in their town.

Heidi and Derek, still smiling, despite Derek's knee giving him a ton of pain.