The TransRockies mountain bike stage race has always featured two-person teams for its seven-day event in the Rocky Mountains of Western Canada, but in recent years, solo opportunities for racers at the even have been expanding. For the past two years, racers could compete in the TR3 - a three-day version of the stage race overlapping with the first three days of the full TransRockies. New for 2011 will be the addition of a TR4 solo event, which will overlap with the final four stages of the TransRockies.
The TransRockies will celebrate its 10th year when the race is run from August 7 to 13, 2011. The first solo event, the TR3, which debuted in 2009, has grown quickly over the two years it has been held. With demand for solo riding opportunities continuing to increase, the TR4 will give riders a chance to take on another part of the route through front ranges of the Alberta Rockies.
The TR4 will be closely modelled on four-day TransGermany, a partner event of the TransRockies that drew over 1200 riders last year to ride through the Alps.
TR4 riders will ride concurrently with the field for the TR7 team event and will take on the same revamped route for stages 4 and 5 that has been extensively scouted during the unseasonably warm and dry Alberta fall. With help from local riding clubs and trail experts, the TransRockies team has spent this fall developing a new race routing along higher terrain and away from the lowlands which turned muddy after the unseasonably wet weather in 2010.
Starting east of the village of Millarville in Kananaskis Country, the TR4 will finish with the TR7 the main event in Canmore, Alberta. Racers will camp two nights at the Little Elbow Campground, used for the first time in 2010, allowing stage 5 to be a loop on some of the favourite mountain bike trails of the area. The third night of camping for TR4 will be at Rafter Six Ranch, near Seebe, Alberta. Rafter Six, the traditional last night of the TransRockies Alberta route will welcome the riders with authentic western hospitality.
Racers who link the TR3 and the TR4 can ride the entire route solo for the first time. The TR4 also gives riders the opportunity to have a little more civilized sleeping option as they can easily spend nights in town with vehicle support from family or friends since all starts and finishes are within approximately an hour of Calgary city limits.
Just like the other TransRockies events, the TR4 will have a la carte pricing starting with an early bird base price of CAN$700 (until December 31) for the four days of backcountry racing. Riders can choose their own add-ons like meals and camping and create their own custom package. After January 1, the cost rises to $850 but the pricing for additional services remains the same.
The three-day TR3 will remain a UCI category-S2 stage race. Organizers are expecting a strong field of elite riders, who will be able to earn UCI points in the run-up to the 2011 World Championships and the 2012 Olympics.
TR4 registration will open on Thursday, November 18. Only 100 registration spots are available during the early bird registration period.
For more details on the race and registration, visit www.transrockies.com