An epic seven-day, seven-stage bike race that criss-crossed British Columbia’s Coastal Mountains wound to a close Saturday as 220 participants crossed the finish line in Whistler.

The inaugural B.C. Bike Race: The Pacific Traverse, a two- and four-team mountain bike trek, started July 1 in Sooke and traversed flat, straight gravel roads and climbed steep, single-track paths.

Andreas Hestler, a former Olympian and two-time Trans Rockies Champion, designed and rode the 550-kilometre course.


He said the race was no easier for him because he designed it. “It’s just as hard,” he said. “Once you hit a 2,000-foot climb, even if you know the climb, the strongest people will prevail.”

Hestler and his race partner Kevin Calhoun finished 30 minutes behind the top men’s team of Chris Eatough and Jeff Schalk, who finished in 25:02:50.

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