By Paul Done
In 2007, the TransRockies Challenge will reverse its traditional northerly direction, and will travel south for the first time. After starting on August 12 at Panorama Mountain Resort in the rugged Purcell Ranges of the Rockies, the 600 participants from 25 countries will face 600km of riding with 12,000 metres of climbing over the course of seven epic days before finishing in the historic downtown of Fernie on August 18. During the week on their bike, the nearly 300 teams of two riders will travel through the 3,000m peaks and steep valleys of the spectacular Kootenay Rockies.
"We're really excited to have the finish line in Fernie this year," said TransRockies Event Director Aaron McConnell. "They were one of the first, and have been one of the greatest, supporters of the race. As our start line for the first five years, they have seen the event quadruple in size as it has grown from an idea to become one of the monuments of mountain biking."
Unlike most other endurance events, the athletes of the TransRockies Challenge spend the full duration of the event together -- whether on their bikes, or eating, sleeping and recuperating in the moving rider village which is built and staffed by a dedicated crew of staff and volunteers. The entire infrastructure to support the 1,000 racers, crew members and friends is moved in, built and moved in an enormous feat of logistics. The crew work first thing in the morning and deep into the night, preparing meals, fixing bikes, marking the course, setting up and tearing down tents, and doing the hundred other things necessary for the smooth operation of the event.
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