TransRockies Classic – the legendary MTB event in Canada
Fascinating, legendary and full of comradely spirit: the TransRockies in North America. Find out more about the iconic MTB event with a one-of-a-kind vibe!
The legendary mountain bike event in North America
130 riders, 7 days, 560 kilometres and close to 15,000 metres of elevation gain – and all that amidst the wilderness of North America. What are we talking about? The spectacular TransRockies Classic at the end of July once again topped the bucket list for countless mountain bikers from all over the world.
The point-to-point event isn’t just popular for its traversing of a phenomenal landscape. The participants from Canada, the United States, Europe and South Africa also rave of the comradely spirit on site.
You’ve never heard of the TransRockies? Then it’s about time! Mark Almond was there and shares his experiences and everything you need to know about the bike racing event in Canada.
Maybe you’ll be there next time when the motto will be again: on first-name terms with wolves and bears …
What makes the TransRockies stand out from other races?
The MTB stage race was first held in 2001 in North America and has reached an iconic popularity in the mountain bike scene. The riders get a first-hand taste of the wilderness in those seven days. On remote trails, about 130 participants cross some of the most spectacular landscapes in the world.
What primarily strikes you is the tremendous sense of camaraderie at the TransRockies, though. Riders battle the route together. That’s when friendships develop and memories are made that’ll last a lifetime.
What are the challenges?
The weather plays a big part throughout the entire race. Canadian mountain temperatures are pretty variable. 2019 saw intense heat and strong head winds. Yet, previous years have seen constant rain and freezing temperatures. You can never predict what it’ll be like, so you have to prepare for all possibilities.
Another challenge is being able to deal with the variety of terrain. From rooty, technical single tracks to 1,600-metre road climbs – the route is designed to test every aspect of your bike handling and stamina.
You should also be aware of the fact that Canada is a country full of wildlife …
Which ones are the hardest passages of the TransRockies Classic?
This will differ from rider to rider. Traversing high mountain passes means high altitude and a variety of terrain that will include some hike-a-bike sections, too. Some riders love these passages.
Conversely, some stages will be shorter but include 100% technical single track where bike handling is more important than endurance.
What are the highlights of the course?
This year's course was outstandingly beautiful from start to finish. For me, one highlight was riding into Whiteswan Lake on Day 4 with 32km to go. We rode alongside a river into a strong headwind down a valley with the most breathtaking mountains on each side.
Nipika Mountain Resort also needs to be singled out as a special location – it is simply stunning. For town lovers, the finishing town of Fernie is a mountain town like no other I have ever visited. It’s an amazing little community with very friendly people and surrounded by mountains. Beautiful!
Who gets to participate?
It is for mountain bikers of all abilities as long as they have the endurance required and the will for adventure. Elite riders ride, sleep and eat alongside the weekend warriors and amateur riders at this event.
You often read about the special atmosphere at the event – is that actually the case?
Yes, it’s indeed very special. The camaraderie on site is phenomenal. Riders of all nationalities and abilities bond immediately and start sharing stories, helping each other and giving advice.
On one particular day, the slower riders were coming into the camp just as dinner was being served. The elite riders who had been finished for several hours by this point halted dinner and waved the slower riders in. Their words were: “These guys have been out there suffering whilst we've been relaxing this afternoon. They eat first, they deserve it.” There are no primadonnas at the TransRockies – just good people looking out for each other on and off the trail.
You’d like to find out more about the TransRockies Classic? Mark gives us some exclusive insights into being a participant of this spectacular bike event in his experience report. He also talks about his personal challenges at the race.
By the way: These mountain bikes will take you up the Rockies!