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The TransRockies Gravel Royale has been cancelled due to Wildfires in the region.

Aaron McConnell, TransRockies President, commented, “It’s with heavy hearts and a commitment to safety as our top priority, we regret to announce the cancellation of the highly anticipated TransRockies Gravel Royale 2023. The decision comes in response to the ongoing wildfire situation that has affected the race route and surrounding areas. Despite our dedicated efforts and consultations with BC Wildfire officials over the past week, it has become apparent that proceeding with the event would pose too great a risk to participants, staff, and the local communities.”

The TransRockies Gravel Royale has been a testament to the spirit of adventure, camaraderie, and endurance since its inception. Aaron continued to say that he understands the disappointment that this cancellation brings, but the TransRockies responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all involved is paramount.

Several key factors contributed to this difficult decision:

1. Wildfire Proximity:
The Horsethief Creek Complex, comprised of the Horsethief, Yearling, and Mia Creek fires, poses a significant threat along the route. All three fires have been classified as “Out of Control,” creating an unpredictable and potentially hazardous environment.

2. Evacuation Concerns and Emergency Respose:
Although the evacuation order for Nipika has been lifted, the area remains under an “evacuation alert”. In the event of further closures or emergencies, the options for transporting a large group of riders out of Nipika are limited, raising safety concerns in case of unforeseen circumstances.

3. Course Disruption:
A section of the race course near Nipika, particularly Cochran Creek, remains closed due to wildfire activity. This closure necessitates a reroute, which could impact the overall race experience.

4. Uncontained Mia Creek Fire:
The Mia Creek fire continues to spread, with limited containment progress. BC Wildfire authorities have expressed apprehension about potential fire spread, especially if wind conditions change. The inaccessibility of the area further complicates firefighting efforts. Portions of the planned route are within the current Area Restriction and closure.

5. Air Quality and Smoke Concerns:
While smoke has not been a significant issue at present, the situation is unpredictable and could rapidly worsen. Given the nature of the race as a point-to-point event, it is challenging to adjust stages to account for poor air quality.

7. Permit Uncertainty:
Ongoing evacuation alerts in the Nipika area could lead to officials withholding of necessary permits, creating additional obstacles for organizing a safe and successful event.

The TransRockies administration have communicated with registered participants regarding deferral options and also express their commitment to exploring future opportunities to bring the spirit of TransRockies Gravel Royale back stronger than ever once the wildfire situation stabilizes and conditions permit. Next year’s event is scheduled for August 23-26, 2024.

The Entire TransRockies Team We would like to extend their sincere gratitude to all participants, sponsors, volunteers, and local communities who have supported the TransRockies Gravel Royale. While this cancellation is undoubtedly disappointing, the health and safety of everyone involved remains our utmost priority.

Stay safe, stay informed, and let us work together to support the firefighting efforts and recovery of the affected communities.

The TransRockies would like to thank all the Fernie supporters including GearHub Sports, the City of Fernie,, Tourism Fernie, Park Place Lodge, Red Tree Lodge, Raging Elk Adventure Lodge, Fernie Lodging Company, Fernie RV Resort, Stanford Resort, Snow Valley Lodging and the Fernie Fox. Fernie was ready for an epic finish…