Offering 350 riders an unforgettable experience through the Canadian Rockies, this is a signature event in the Transrockies Race Series. Strambecco also rates the event as one of the best gravel cycling events in the Rockies. In four days, riders will travel 407km (252 miles) and climb 7500m (25,000 feet) on a course that is 84% gravel roads. Each day, or race stage, has expertly marked courses with course crews and checkpoints to help participants when needed. The two checkpoints per stage are stocked with hydration and food to fuel your ride. Each stage starts at 8 am and must be completed in 8 hours. The checkpoints will keep you posted on your progress. Every day has incredible views over high mountain passes and the chance to meet the local wildlife. See the site’s important note about protection. Here is a breakdown of each course.
Day One – Stage 1 – Tegart Pass rides from Panorama to Nipika. This covers 81km (50 miles) and climbs 2,100m (6,900 feet). There is often snow on Tegart Pass from October to June, so it should be clear for this August adventure, with only logs and rocks possible. The climbing is double-track, and there may be a few sections of the uphill trail that riders will have to walk. There are also single-track sections downhill which may be too steep to ride for some. Prepare to be cautious and know your abilities. It is only Stage 1!
Day Two – Stage 2 – Miller Pass is a ride that stays in Nipika. The course covers 83km (51 miles) and climbs 1,500m (4,900 feet). The route is known to have some challenges at North Boundary and limited sight lines and stream crossings between Miller Pass and Albert River FSR. Riders may need to dismount, so plan to get your feet wet. Stage 2 includes a short section of rough downhill double-track that may require slower speeds.
Day Three – Stage 3 – Little Elk Pass travels from Nipika to Canal Flats. The distance is slightly longer than the first two stages covering 108km (67 miles) and 1,500m (4,900 feet) of climbing. There will be logging truck traffic on this route, so riders will need to be aware. Also, be aware that one of the downhills includes drainage ditches that could be dangerous at high speeds.
Day Four – Stage 4 – Hartley Pass is from Canal Flats to Fernie. This stage is the most challenging, with the longest distance at 135km (84 miles) and most climbing at 2,400m (7,900 feet). This course also has high stream crossings, and riders must exercise caution when crossing bridges. On the final descent, riders must watch for potholes and uphill vehicle traffic.
TransRockies Gravel Royale is only available for 350 riders in 3 race formats: 2-Day, 3-Day, and 4-Day Royal Flush. Registration opens annually in September, and 50% of early bird spots are reserved for female riders. Registration includes breakfast and dinner for the days you entered, tent camps for the nights registered, luggage transport, hot showers, race timing, and results. All participants and supporters will enjoy a final banquet in Fergie to celebrate the racers and best times in every category. Registrants also receive TransRockies Gravel Royale Starter Jersey, belt buckle, and Finisher Shirt. There are also add-ons available at extra cost for participants; Mechanical Package, Massage Package, Solo Tent Upgrade, and transport options for the various stage locations.
Tent Camps are unique to this event, and the TransRockies team makes it a priority to ensure racers can recharge and relax at the end of each stage. Riders arrive at camps with the tents set up, their luggage waiting for them, cooking in progress, and shower trucks available. There are even stations to wash your bike. The add-ons are available at each location as well. The host communities are resorts or mountain towns surrounded by the beauty of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. You will enjoy Panorama Mountain Resort and Nipika Mountain Resort, as well as Canal Flats and Fernie in British Columbia.
The Transrockies Race Series is a unique multi-sport event series spanning Road cycling, MTB, and Trail events throughout North America. Many of their events are multi-day and take place in spectacular destinations. Strambecco covers several of their events, including the Moab Gran Fondo, Moab Rocks, and the TranSelkirks Run.