On Sunday (9 August), 450 riders from 22 countries will roll up to the start line in Panorama Mountain Resort high in the mountains of British Columbia for the eighth edition of the TransRockies, North America’s original epic mountain bike stage race.
The seven stages of racing that await them include six massive point-to-point rides along the spine of the Rockies and a technical Day 3 time-trial loop. When they roll across the finish line in Fernie the following Saturday, they will have earned their finishers’ medals with 532km of riding and over 14,000 metres of climbing on the wildest ride in mountain biking.
The 2009 edition of the TransRockies follows a route similar to last year with a number of modifications made to further improve the riding and to keep the route fresh for repeat competitors.
As it does every year, the TransRockies will challenge riders with long stages, unpredictable mountain weather, deep rivers to be forded and majestic mountain vistas to be enjoyed — if the riders can find the extra energy to look up while they’re suffering through an average of over 2,000 metres of climbing per day. Riders will cross the Continental Divide twice as they work their way through massive river valleys, along the edge of canyons and over remote passes.
After adding the time-trial stage in 2008, the TransRockies team is again keeping things fresh in 2009 with the addition of a new event to the schedule. The three-day solo TR3 race was added in response to demand from riders. It takes place simultaneously with the first three days of the TransRockies and is intended to be both a stepping stone for riders building toward the full seven-day race and as an epic alternative for TR vets and elite riders. TheTransRockies stays true to the original vision of a race which combines immense challenge with an added level of co-operation and camaraderie.
Despite the world economy and the difficulties which have caused the cancellation or modification of many events, the TransRockies is moving forward strongly with 450 riders from over 20 countries scheduled to participate. They’ll spend each night in a travelling village of tents and RVs set up by the organisers, where they are fed and supported by dozens of staff and volunteers who do everything from cooking to setting up tents, to fixing bikes.
Most of the riders who roll up to the start line of the TransRockies have the simple goals of completing the event and enjoying their epic ride through the Rockies. Every year, though, there’s a group of elite athletes who arrive at the TransRockies with clear competitive goals and a desire to go for a share of the US$20,000 final prize purse, daily medals and leaders’ jerseys. For more information, visit www.transrockies.com.