The inaugural TransRockies Gravel Royale bike race is set to conclude in Fernie with festivities and a banquet.
According to a press release, the Gravel Royale is set to pass through Panorama, Nipika, Canal Flats, and finally, Fernie. The event begins on Aug. 22 and ends on Aug. 25.
Kicking off in Panorama, the race will tour “some of the most scenic and challenging gravel routes in British Columbia,” in a type of race that combines paved road sections with off-road forest roads and singletrack trail sections. Bikes used will be similar to road bikes, but optimized for off-pavement use.
“TransRockies Gravel Royale will see both professionals and amateurs tackling a challenging four-stage course.”
Throughout the four days, bikers will cover over 400 km and around 7,500 m of climbing, 84 per cent of which is gravel road. The rest is made up of 10 per cent pavement, five per cent doubletrack, and one per cent singletrack.
The fourth stage from Canal Flats to Fernie will see the riders push through Hartley Pass.
The final stage will be the longest with the most climbing, and has earned the name Queen Stage, the release says. It includes 135 km and 2,400 m of climbing.
“This stage is generally fast-rolling, with climbs that are less steep than on some of the previous stages.
“Riders will enjoy some of the most beautiful and remote places of the whole event.”
Bikers will then be heading for the finish line in Fernie’s Station Square where finisher celebrations are scheduled to take place through the day.
From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the finish festival at Station Square will take place and include music, food and drink.
From 3 to 6 p.m., there will be a rider reception at the Kodiak Lounge and the Raging Elk Adventure Lodge, also featuring music, food and drink.
From 6 to 8 p.m., the final banquet will take place at the Fernie Community Centre where there will be dinner, awards, pictures and a video presentation.