The TransRockies Gravel Royale has spent a lost year in the COVID-19 jammer. Now the riders are ready for takeoff in the inaugural race.
On August 22, the gravel race riders will line up at Panorama Mountain Resort in British Columbia for a long-delayed departure. They will spend the next 4 days riding some of the most scenic gravel roads in the Canadian province in the TransRockies Gravel Royale stage race.
This year, the event kicks off after COVID-19 shut down most activities in British Columbia last August. As of this writing, cyclists around the world can still register to ride. And as of April 1, the Canadian government no longer requires a negative COVID-19 test for fully vaccinated international visitors.
Course and camp details
“After 2 years of planning, we look forward to bringing the legendary TransRockies stage racing experience to the gravel community,” said Aaron McConnell, President of TransRockies. “This part of BC is so perfect for a gravel wilderness experience.”
The course will head south for 252 miles and a staggering 23,000 foot ascent southeast of Revelstoke in the Canadian Rockies. Scenic stops along the tour include Nipika Mountain Resort and Canal Flats Village. The finish line will be in Fernie, a charming mountain town nestled beneath the Three Sisters.
TransRockies will take care of camping facilities aimed at making runners comfortable between the four stages. Race organizers will transport runners’ equipment and luggage, set up tents, provide showers and prepare meals. Each evening, massage and “athletics therapy” will be offered with mechanical support and bike washing. Nightly entertainment will include music, snacks and a campfire.
“People hang around for hours after races and chat about their day and celebrate the things that went well and laugh at the things that didn’t go so well,” said professional mountain biker Emma Maaranen. “It’s pretty amazing. I haven’t been to races like this in years and years that have such a sense of community.
No shortage of gravel
In total, TransRockies says the course is 84% gravel roads for a total of around 210 miles. Runners should expect a low technical entry threshold – the race organizer says he has designed the course so that “anyone with experience road runner would have no technical issues.
Maps, detailed stage descriptions, requirements and more are available at TransRockies’ website. Registration is open but limited, according to the site. But if you’re not going under the gun, you still have plenty of options: the TransRockies racing series runs 10 events over 32 days a year across the American West and Canada.