Riders from all over the World are arriving in Fernie preparing for the start of the 10th edition of the TransRockies. Over the next week, we’ll be posting reports, photos, videos and results from the heart of the Rockies so that you can keep up with the epic ride as it travel through the Rockies and to the finish line in Canmore.
Since the TransRockies was first run in 2002 as the cousin to the legendary TransAlp, roughly 3500 mountain bikers from all over the World have come to Fernie to test themselves against the most rugged mountain bike race in North America. Fernie is the only community to have hosted all 10 TransRockies.
The 2011 TransRockies being held August 7th-13th will celebrate 10 years with what is destined to be a classic edition of North America’s first epic mountain bike stage race. In celebrating this a significant milestone, the TransRockies will take a look back at the previous nine editions with photo and video shows. TransRockies is also debuting a new format which will allow more singletrack, less camping and opens up the first-ever opportunity for participants to ride the full seven days solo.
In the end, the TransRockies is all about the chance to take on some of the best singletrack in the World and the 2011 route includes more singletrack, better singletrack and a course which is rideable by all levels of participant. The stages were mapped and scouted before snowfall and they have all been ridden since the snow melted. It’s safe to say that the 2011 route has seem more miles and laps by the TR Trail Crew than any before.
If this is certainly going to be the best “ride” ever, then it only makes sense that it be accompanied by the best rider services and accommodations ever. So, in response to rider requests, the number of moving days has been reduced to three as have the number of nights spent camping. For the first time, some nights with indoor accommodations are and beds included as part of the standard accommodations package. Riders will spend the first three nights in the comfy, clean dorms of the Raging Elk Hostel in Fernie and will spend only three nights camping.
Whether in town or in the wilderness, riders are supported throughout by dozens of staff and volunteers who do everything from cooking, to setting up tents when needed, to fixing bikes. The colourful travelling TransRockies road show not only makes the daily efforts of the participants possible, it creates an environment that builds unmatched camaraderie and lasting friendships among riders of different abilities and nationalities.
Along with the hundreds of recreational riders motivated by the challenge and spirit of adventure, the TransRockies also draws top international competitors each year. The TR3 solo event will once again be sanctioned by the UCI and will offer some of the best mountain bikers in North America like newly-crowned Canadian Champion and US Pro XCT Series Winner Max Plaxton and others a deep prize purse and valuable international ranking points.
The 2011 TransRockies will be a week-long celebration of 10 epic years of mountain biking and, once again, riders from around the World will experience some of the best that the Rocky Mountains have to offer, from the raw beauty of Alberta wilderness campgrounds, to traditional Western ranch hospitality from the folks at Rafter Six Ranch to the open arms of mountain towns like Fernie and Canmore. After seven days of epic riding, mountain bikers from 20 countries will be greeted the population of Canmore, who’ll be out in force to host the great finish line celebration and the closing banquet later that evening.
Team Kona–last year’s TR7 winners, are back to compete in the TR3
A strong field of elite riders is set to take part in the 2011 TR3 event which has both UCI international ranking points and a large cash purse on offer. This year’s field includes recently crowned national champions and past TransRockies winners who’ll be rolling up to the start line in Fernie on Sunday.
Last year’s men’s champion Max Plaxton of Specialized Racing USA returns to defend his title after a season which has seen him win both the 2011 Canadian National Championships and the 2011 US Pro XC Series title. He’ll get tough competition from last year’s TR7 team winners Kris Sneddon and Barry Wicks of Team Kona who are competing in this year’s event as solo riders for the first time. 2011 Canada Cup Series Champion Matt Hadley (Xprezo-Borsao) is back to take on the TR3 again and he’ll be hoping to move up the podium from last year’s 4th place. Stefan Widmer (West Point Cycles), another former TR7 winner, will also be lining up to
While 2010 TR3 winner Kelli Emmett hasn’t returned to defend her title, there will be some strong competition for the 2011 Women’s title as multiple TR7 winner Mical Dyck (Trek Pro City Victoria) will be competing in the TR3 for the first time and hoping to add a win and the all-important UCI points to her international ranking. She’ll be challenged by former Canadian National Team rider and three-time World Xterra Champion Melanie McQuaid (Specialized) who has added the TR3 to her event schedule as she chases Xterra titles again in 2011. Catherine Vipond (Norco), the 2011 Canada Cup Series Champion is also expected to be fighting for the win after a strong season in which she and husband Matt Hadley became husband and wife Canada Cup winners.
With many elite athletes and past champions moving to the TR3 competition in search of the international ranking points, the competition looks wide open in the TR7 categories but one team to watch for is the Open Mixed pair of Tom Zidek and Anna-Carin Zidek. Tom’s a TransRockies pioneer and his wife is a multiple Olympic and World Championship medallist in Biathlon.
Visit www.transrockies.com daily for reports, results, photo and video from the race.
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