The BC Bike Race is coming to Penticton with two events this year.
The usually seven-day mountain bike stage race takes place in the Lower Mainland, but this year will be coming to the South Okanagan.
The first race will be a new event called the BC Bike Race Gravel Explorer, which will run from Sept. 26 to Oct. 1, followed by the BC Bike Race from Oct. 3 to 8.
The gravel bike stage race will feature distances ranging from 54 to 113 km, with an average of two-to-six hours of racing each day.
The BC Bike Race is expecting 150 races to participate in the gravel explorer, which will start and end at the Naramata Bench.
The main race will see stages from 25 to 50 km, three-to-five hours of racing a day, and around 150 to 200 racers.
The BC Bike Race is working with the Penticton and Area Cycling Association to set up the courses and identify the trails for the race.
Penticton will serve as a central hub for the race, with some riding in the immediate area and other stages being done as day trips nearby.
Some of the features that are advertised on the BC Bike Race page for why Penticton was chosen include the local airport and strategic location, the ideal fall climate for bike riding, the eight distinct trail networks in the area around Penticton and the community with a history of hosting world-class events and races.
The new format is also intended to be as COVID-19 safe as possible in order to be permitted under Provincial Health Orders.
Previous races have seen 650 riders from 36 countries average 50 km a day.
The race organizers will be presenting information on the races to Penticton’s city council on May 4.
Registration for the BC Bike Race is open on the race’s website at bcbikerace.com/registration.
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