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TransRockies stage race adds UCI points

In the same year that the TransRockies will return to the Alberta Rocky Mountains, the race has also earned UCI status. The seven-day TransRockies became the second North American stage race to earn UCI status. This year, the S2-category race will begin in Fernie, British Columbia, on August 8 and will finish on the edge of the Banff National Park in Canmore, Alberta on August 14.

"2010 is a very important year for TransRockies," said the race's director Aaron McConnell. "We are returning to our roots in Alberta with an awesome new course that's more fun, rideable and challenging than ever before. And, given that our team has organized numerous World Cups, applying for UCI sanctioning seemed like a natural next step in the race's evolution."

With the points chase for the 2012 Olympic spots about to kick off in earnest, the opportunity to earn some of the over 2,500 UCI points on offer should attract some of the top riders in North America to the start line in Fernie, British Columbia.

"Having TransRockies become part of the national calendar along side the other exciting events in Canada this summer, will help to solidify Canada as one of the strongest mountain bike nations in the world," said Nicholas Vipond, Mountain Bike and BMX coordinator for the Canadian Cycling Association.

The TransRockies brought the concept of mountain bike stage racing to North America and continues to push the format forward. The race will offer more prize money to elite teams in 2010, with a purse for the top teams in the seven-day, two person team TransRockies and the three-day solo TR3 at over CAN$30,000.

"While we're looking forward to a deep and competitive elite field, we're still completely focussed on making sure that we offer all of our riders the adventure of their lives," said McConnell. "We're hoping that the presence of more pro riders just adds to the excitement for our recreational riders. We're confident that we're going to set a new benchmark again in 2010."

The TR3 will run concurrently with the first three stages of the TransRockies and finish on August 10.

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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.