Top 5 Mountain Bike Events Worldwide We’d Like to Ride. Following on from our Top 5 Road Events Worldwide We’d Like to Ride, here&amp;#039;s our pick of the mountain bike races that we&amp;#039;d most like to have a go at. From ultra-endurance epics to high-level Downhill racing, this bunch covers the whole range of testing yourself on dirt on two wheels.
Following on from our Top 5 Road Events Worldwide We’d Like to Ride, here’s our pick of the mountain bike races that we’d most like to have a go at.
From ultra-endurance epics to high-level Downhill racing, this bunch covers the whole range of testing yourself on dirt on two wheels.
1. The Yak Attack
A high altitude adventure in the Himalayas.
The highest mountain bike race on earth. The highest point is an air-gasping 5416m above sea level at the snow covered Thorong La pass. The lowest point in the foothills is a daunting 300m.
The trails are not overly technical in nature, this is a challenge about facing extremes of nature.
8 stages, 400km, 12000m of overall altitude gain and a temperature range of +30c to -15c. Oof!
2. Fort William World Cup Downhill
Racing against the clock down a Scottish mountain.
The most popular venue in the whole of the international Downhill racing circuit. A hair-raising 2.7km descent down the purpose-built Nevis Range course.
Rock strewn at the top, rooty in the middle, huge air jumps at the end. The course record is 4 minutes 43 seconds. At least you don’t have to pedal back up the mountain. Fort William has a gondola uplift for you and your bike.
The massive raucous crowds that line the course during the World Cup are part of the appeal to the racers but the mountain tracks are open for public riding at other times from May through to September.
3. The Tour Divide
Riding self-supported from Canada to Mexico.
Starting from Banff in Canada and finishing in the badlands of Mexico this endurance race is something else.
A time trial with just the one single stage – 2745 miles!
There is no entry fee or formal registration. There is no specific start time. There is no prize for being fastest or even for finishing it.
There is however a window of time when entrants can start their attempt. Grand Départs occur around the 2nd weekend in June from both ends of the route.
A toll-free phone number with voice mail is provided to all riders for field reporting. Voice messages are podcast on the Race Updates blog. Riders who carry SPOT GPS Messengers are tracked via the Live tracker.
4. The Trans-Provence
Spend a week Enduro-ing your way across the south of France.
300km long with 9,000m climbing and 18,000m descending.
Unlike most long-distance mountain bikes races which are made up of predominantly wide tracks and doubletrack, the Trans-Provence (or “TP” as competitors call it) is a race that’s won on singletrack. And technical singletrack at that. Technical singletrack that racers haven’t pre-ridden – they ride it all “on sight”.
An unrivalled test of all-round mountain bike riding. The ultimate blend of gravity racing excitement and wilderness biking adventure.
The entries are limited to 70 riders and even though it ain’t cheap it still sells out rapidly every year.
5. The Downieville Classic
This is two races spread over a weekend. Saturday sees the point-to-point Cross Country. Sunday has the Downhill race. You can just enter one of them or you can enter both and put yourself into the “All-Mountain Class”.
The All-Mountain Class is participants who do both the Cross Country and the Downhill – and do it on the same bike.
It sounds fun – and it is – but it’s also extremely demanding. As much of a test of your bike as it is yourself.