TransRockies Gravel Royal resets for 2022 stage race debut with new categories

The TransRockies Gravel Royale may arrive a year later than expected, but the gravel stage race organizers haven’t let that time pass. The event, which crosses the Kootenay Rockies from Panorama to Fernie, B.C., is more ready than ever to launch a new tradition in 2022.

Ned Woods, left, and Travis Hauck sample part of the TransRockies Gravel Royale route. Photo: John Gibson.
TransRockies Gravel Royal is back, for the first time

If you’re not familiar with the name, TransRockies has held 10 races, since 2002. For 2022, a new race is in the works. Well, sort of. A race that was due to start in 2021 but, like many others, has been delayed is set to arrive with even greater brilliance in August.

The inaugural TransRockies Gravel Royale will take place over four days, August 22-25, 2022. It begins at Panorama Mountain Resort before traversing British Columbia’s iconic mountain ranges to Nipika Mountain Resort and Canal Flats before ending , as the Singletrack 6 has done in the past in Fernie, BC. The epic stage race traces a 375 km course between cities. Being located in the mountains you can be sure there will be some rock climbing. About 7,000m of elevation gain, to be more precise.

If that sounds like a lot, but you still want to participate in the Gravel Royale, there are options. Prepare for the full meal offering by taking the two-day ‘Ante Up’ tour. Or ride more miles with support on the three-day E-Bike Poker Ride.

Ted Savin crosses a cold-looking Kootenay River near Canal Flats, British Columbia. Photo: John Gibson
TransRockies Race Series Gravel Royale full press release:

As the summer racing season approaches, TransRockies Race Series, the world leader in adventure stage racing, looks forward to the success of the inaugural TransRockies Gravel Royale gravel stage race August 22-25, 2022. Initially scheduled for August 2021, COVID-19 restrictions have been canceled for all events in the BC interior. The gravel stage race will now start in August 2022, and there are still registration spots available for interested riders.

The TransRockies Gravel Royale course begins at Panorama Mountain Resort and runs through some of the most scenic and challenging gravel roads in British Columbia. The route will also visit Nipika Hill Station and the Village of Canal Flats before ending in the town of Fernie. The four-day stage race will cover 375km (233 miles) and approximately 7,000m (23,000ft) of elevation gain.

“After two 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.”

As of April 1, a negative covid test is no longer required for fully vaccinated visitors to Canada, making the Gravel Royale even more accessible for riders traveling from the United States and other parts of the world. Daily direct flights to Calgary International Airport are available from 85 destinations in 15 countries, including Denver, San Francisco, Minneapolis, New York, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and many more.

Continuing in 2022, TransRockies Gravel Royale will offer alternative options for riders, including a two-day “Ante Up” ride and a three-day e-bike “Poker Ride”. The shorter options are great for runners looking to dip their toes into the stage race experience.

The Gravel Royale stages will take riders on remote gravel roads through the Canadian Rockies, the traditional home of the indigenous people of the Ktunaxa Nation. Runners will experience expansive mountain vistas, native wildlife, and winding stretches of gravel in this tough but doable challenge. The extensive network of well-maintained fire roads in the area ensure excellent driving and racing conditions.

After each step, participants can expect a relaxing, fun and memorable time at camp. After 20 years, TransRockies has perfected its camp hospitality and offers all the amenities riders could ever need. The TransRockies team transport equipment/luggage, set up tents at each stage, provide showers and prepare meals. Each evening, massage and sports therapy stations are available as well as mechanical support and a bike wash for participants. Along with all TransRockies Stage Races, the Chillville will make an appearance at Gravel Royale and will be equipped with music, snacks and a nice campfire for riders to socialize and hang out with other participants.

“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.

Feel free to sign up for TransRockies Gravel Royale! There are still places available, but the event may sell out. Registration includes meals, tent camping, luggage transportation, among other amenities. Registration link here.

For more information on stages, locations and registration, please visit transrockiesgravelroyale.com.

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