After four days of racing through remote B.C. wilderness, Rob Britton and Rachel McBride are the first champions of the TransRockies Gravel Royale. The four day mixed-surface stage race traversed from Panorama Mountain Resort across the Kootenay Rockies towards the final finish line in Fernie, B.C.
All in, 200 riders from eight different countries showed up to take on the first running of TransRockies newest event. The veteran stage race organizers delivered four exciting days of challenging – and incredibly scenic – gravel riding. In that span, a full 400 kilometres of racing squeezed in 7,500m of elevation gain. With just 10 per cent paved roads, TransRockies Gravel Royale was a true gravel event. The rest was 84 per cent gravel road, five per cent rough double track and one percent singletrack (plus maybe a hike-a-bike or two).
“This was my first gravel stage race and the group from TransRockies did a heck of a job taking care of us,” said men’s winner, Rob Britton. “Done and dusted and happy to get a win at this race and my first win as a gravel pro.”
Women’s winner, Rach McBride, was also impressed by the event, during and after the race.
“This race is definitely unlike anything else I have experienced in gravel racing so far” McBride shared. “The courses, the multi-day aspect and the tent camping, it really all has been a fantastic experience and so fun to be surrounded by the gravel community all week.”
After starting at Panorama Mountain Resort, the Gravel Royale traversed backroads and double track well beyond cell reception to Nipika Mountain Resort, the Village of Canal Flats and, finally, to Fernie, B.C.
Results: 2022 TransRockies Gravel Royale
1st: Rob Britton (Victoria, B.C.) 12:05:38
2nd: Caleb Swartz (Missoula, Montana) 12:14:45
3rd: Josiah Middaugh (Vail, Colorado) 12:17:53
1st: Rach McBride (Vancouver, B.C.) 14:20:47
2nd: Lauren Cantwell (Reno, Nevada) 15:13:11
3rd: Lindsay Glassford (Panorama, B.C.) 15:37:41
While the Gravel Royale racers get to relax and enjoy the memories, the TransRockies crew is staying busy. They have just one week before returning to Fernie for the start of 2022 SingleTrack 6. The cross country mountain bike stage race runs from from Sept. 6 – 11 this year, starting right where the Gravel Royale left off.