Fernie, B.C. will be transformed into a bike town Sunday as 450 mountain bikers from 20 countries line up to start the ninth edition of the TransRockies race and the three-day TR3 solo race.
The seven stages of the TransRockies include six massive point-to-point rides along the spine of the Rockies and a technical Day 1 time-trial loop through Fernie’s world-class singletrack. Riders who choose to ride the TR3 will finish their ride at the end of stage 3 having covered 167 km of riding with 5,150 m of climbing including a new crossing of the Continental Divide at nearly 2,400 metres above sea level.
With the support of Travel Alberta and the Ministry of Tourism, Parks and Recreation, the 2010 edition of the TransRockies returns to its Alberta roots. The 2010 route includes two stopovers at western ranches and rides through the pristine Kananaskis Country Wilderness. When the TransRockies riders roll across the finish line in Canmore on Saturday, August 14, they will have earned their finishers’ medals with 400 km of riding and 12,000 metres of climbing on a new route through the high Rockies and some of the most spectacular scenery in the World. Along the way, they’ll be tested by epic climbs, the always-unpredictable Rocky Mountain weather and endless singletrack including highlights like Cox Hill and Jumpingpound Ridge in Kananaskis Country and Porky Blue, a new singletrack ride in Fernie, which serves up an incredible 1000 m of vertical in one continuous descent.
In 2010, the TransRockies and TR3 applied for and were granted S2 Stage Race status by the international cycling body UCI. This means that top finishers will receive international ranking points along with a cash purse of $30,000. With that in mind, this year’s events feature the strongest-ever field of elite athletes including the likes of Max Plaxton (Team Sho-Air) and Matt Hadley (XPREZO-Borzac) who finished second and fourth at the Canadian National Championships held in July, along with Adam Craig and Carl Decker of Team Giant fresh off their appearance in the Rally event at the X-Games. Those four will be taking on the TR3 and will try to take the crown from last year’s Champion Cory Wallace (KONA), who recently won the Canmore 24 Hours of Adrenalin.
In the full seven-day TransRockies race, defending champions Marty Lazarski and Stefan Widmer (Rocky Mountain Factory Team) will be challenged by Barry Wicks and Kris Sneddon (KONA), who have enough speed and stage race experience to be a genuine threat for the win. The Open Mixed Category will feature a battle between two former champions as 2009 winners Mical Dick and Jeff Neilson (Trek Canada/Terrascape) will take on 2007 and 2008 champs Wendy Simms and Normon Thibault (KONA/Frontrunners), who are back up to full racing speed after Simms’ maternity break. In the end though, most of the riders who roll up to the start line of the TransRockies have the simple goal of completing the event and enjoying their epic ride through the Rockies.
For more information and race updates, photos and video, visit www.transrockies.com