Two of the most popular and well known mountain bike stages races, the TransRockies and the TransAlps, have set their schedules for 2011. Each week-long race draws two-person teams from around the globe.
The TransRockies, run in the Rocky Mountains of western Canada, will celebrate its 10th edition on August 7-13, 2011. It was the first event of its kind in continental North America. More recently, organizers have added a three-day solo event, the TR3, which will also happen again in 2011, on August 7-9.
In 2010, the TransRockies returned to its original routing with a new, more direct 400km course through the Rockies from Fernie to the finish line in Canmore, Alberta. The 10th anniversary route is already well into development with the goal of moving stages 4 and 5 higher into the Alberta Rockies and away from the pastures and lower trails of the ranchlands in the foothills, ensuring better riding and views. A late arriving Indian Summer has allowed route planners to get in some great planning rides through Septmber and full details of the 2011 route will be released over the next months.
In 2010, the TransRockies received UCI sanctioning for both the TR3 and TransRockies and after discussions with the UCI, international points and prize money will only be offered in the TR3 event for 2011. The total prize purse will be $11,400 for the solo three-day event in the open men and open women categories. With the race all-important national and individual places at the 2012 London Olympic Games heating up, the TR3 is a chance for pros to grab UCI points and even more should be on the line in 2011. The team event will continue to offer a cash and product purse to top teams.
The theme of the 2011 TransRockies, which will allow up to 600 entrants, will be "Reunion" and special registration incentives are being offered to past participants, such as a 10 percent discount until November 30.
Organizers have changed the pricing structure of registration with the goal of offering more flexibility to riders. The base team fee will be for the ride only, and a la carte add-ons will allow riders to pay for only the services they need. The CDN$2900 base registration per team can be customized with a variety of single and double occupancy camping, vehicle and meal upgrades. Cancellation fees are also being eliminated; riders will be able to transfer their entry to another rider or to the next year at no charge should they run into obstacles in preparing for 2011.
As part of a new trail fundraising initiative, the base fee in 2011 will include a new fee of $100 per participant ($50 per TR3 participant) to go to organizations that support development and advocacy for mountain bike trails, both in the areas where TransRockies operates and also internationally. Riders who show that they give eight hours to a local trail organization will be able to waive it. This initiative was begun in as part of organizers' related running race, the TransRockies Run, which has raised over $35,000 for trails so far.
TransAlp celebrates 14 years
In Europe, the TransAlp race, will run for its 14th year on July 16-23, 2011. 1,100 mountain bikers will again compete during eight stages across the Alpine divide.
Although the route for the next year hasn't been announced yet, the date for the online registration has: noon of Tuesday, December 14, 2010. The race has sold out for many years now and racers will be accepted on a first come, first-served basis.
For more information on the TransAlp race, visit www.bike-transalp.de. (Registration will open in December.)
For more information on the TransRockies website www.transrockies.com. (Registration is open.)
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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews. She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.