The International Cycling Union (UCI) has granted the TransRockies sanctioning for its TR event, a seven-day pairs race, and the TR3 event, a three-day solo race. Both are scheduled to start on 8 August in Fernie, British Columbia.
“Multi-day endurance events are a part of the pro rider culture elsewhere in the world but not yet in North America and we’d like to be part of changing that,” said Paul Done of Epic Media. “What could be more dramatic than having some of the best riders in the world battle across mountain ridges and through wilderness for world ranking points?”
The 2,500 UCI points available will likely attract some top mountain bike racers. The points are valuable in garnering nations a better starting position at the world championships and in securing more starters at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The race will also offer a price purse upward of $30,000.
“2010 is a very important year for TransRockies,” said event director Aaron McConnell. “We’re returning to our roots in Alberta with an awesome new course. And, given that our team has organised numerous World Cups, applying for UCI sanctioning seemed like a natural next step in the race’s evolution.”
Done expects interest from pro riders because the TransRockies events are not competing with other events on the US or Canadian professional mountain bike calendars, with the exception of the World Marathon Championships being held in Germany on 8 August.
“The only potential conflicts on the second weekend are a Canada Cup and the Leadville 100 and riders can easily ride the solo TR3 which finishes on Tuesday and be completely prepared for those races,” Done said.
The TransRockies’ UCI sanctioning license is a one-year term, but Done expects the event to maintain its status with the UCI in future years. Top-level sanctioning requires backing from the sport’s national governing body, in this case the Canadian Cycling Association (CCA). The event is required to meet organisational standards, prize money amounts, have a certain number of officials present and offer an accurate timing and results system.
“The majority of the pieces were already in place for us because we work with a World Cup level timing provider, our prize money is excellent, we have a proven event infrastructure built over eight years of effort and we have a lot of World Cup organisational experience in our team in Canmore and Calgary along with many European World Cup events,” Done said. “The CCA was very supportive and the sanctioning process was very smooth once we had done our diligence. The whole process took several weeks.”
The ninth annual TransRockies IX route will take riders from British Columbia’s Fernie through the North and East to Elkford, up and over the Continental Divide and across the border into the Province of Alberta. It will pass the Kananaskis Country trails and move onward along the Rocky Mountain ridgeline and the Trans Canada Trail into the finishing city of Canmore.