Justin Jack-Thomas congratulates a competitor in the BC Bike Race for finishing the first part of the Cowichan Valley stage in 2018. (Citizen file)

Justin Jack-Thomas congratulates a competitor in the BC Bike Race for finishing the first part of the Cowichan Valley stage in 2018. (Citizen file)

BC Bike Race hits Cowichan next weekend

June 6 stage covers Mount Tzouhalem and Maple Mountain

The BC Bike Race is coming back to the Cowichan Valley next weekend.

After holding a stage in the Valley as part of its first event in 2008, the BC Bike Race was absent until last year, but its return in 2018 was successful enough to merit another engagement this year.

The Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society will host the first stage of the 2019 race on Saturday, July 6, when riders will tackle the celebrated trails of Mount Tzouhalem and Maple Mountain.

READ MORE: BC Bike Race’s Cowichan stage well-received

Participants will arrive on the Friday, spend the night in a tent city at Maple Bay School, where they will be welcomed with a performance that evening by the Cowichan Tzinquaw Dancers. At 8:30 a.m. the next day, they will start the race at the school, traversing the two mountains before ending the stage at the Crofton ballfields.

“The route will mix it up with everything from undulating singletrack to fast and flowy berms and whoops, with some sections that will put your technical skills to the test,” the BC Bike Race says of the Cowichan Valley stage.

The first riders are expected to arrive in Crofton around 11 a.m. From Crofton, they will be transported north to Cumberland to spend the night before beginning their next stage.