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Canada Cup Marathon race and TransRockies Challenge bring 500 riders to area

07/13/2005 – Excitement is mounting as more than 500 mountain bikers from around the world prepare to descend on the picturesque Canadian Rockies town of Fernie, BC and the surrounding Elk Valley, to participate in two major biking events, the Canada Cup “Fernie Classic” and the first stages of the TransRockies Challenge.

“We are thrilled to be enhancing what has already become a legendary event in the Elk Valley,” said Event Director Dan Savage. “With the history of the TransRockies challenge and its popularity in the area, and the addition of our Canada Cup “Fernie Classic” race on the same weekend, we have created an unparalleled event for participants, families and fans.”

The Canada Cup “Fernie Hotel & Pub Classic” point-to-point race will be held on Saturday, August 6, beginning in Fernie, BC, and ending in Sparwood, BC. The 50 km race will take about 100 expert-level participants through some fantastic single-track terrain as well as the newly developed Coal Discovery Trail. The “Fernie Hotel & Pub Classic” is a UCI sanctioned cross-country point-to-point marathon mountain bike event. The race begins at the historic Fernie Hotel & Pub located beside CP Station Square in the historic downtown at 11 am, and finishes several hours later as in Sparwood, a 15-minute drive from Fernie via Crowsnest Highway #3.

Then riders, spectators and locals will return to Fernie for awards ceremonies in early evening on Saturday, August 6, and the Opening Ceremonies for the Blackstone Elk Valley TransRockies, held at CP Station Square in the downtown. This legendary event, celebrating the start of the 7 day epic mountain bike race, has been hosted in Fernie for the past three summers. This year the town expects nearly 500 riders from around the world to join more than 2000 locals and visitors for an evening of celebration on Saturday.  Highlights of the opening ceremonies include live music, a beverage tent and a range of fantastic food vendors.

On the morning of Sunday August 7, hundreds of spectators will line the sidewalks of Fernie’s historic downtown to catch a glimpse of the huge pack of world-class riders as they begin the first leg of their week-long race at 12 noon. As a result of an entirely new route developed by the organizers, The Blackstone Elk Valley TransRockies will take riders through Fernie, Sparwood, and Elkford during its first three days before the route crosses the BC-Alberta border into the Kanninaskis.

At the end of the first leg of the race, visitors can enjoy a cool drink at the beverage gardens in Sparwood beside the Titan Truck, the World’s Largest Tandem Axle truck, as spectators welcome riders to the finish line on Sunday afternoon. The following day, the pack of 175 teams heads off again and makes their way through some spectacular backcountry to Elkford, the “Wilderness Capital of BC”.

“By changing the race route and adding two more legs through the Elk Valley, we’re going to further highlight all our area has to offer to participants and visitors taking in the action,” adds Savage.  “This new route means better biking for our participants and increased excitement for thousands of people living and visiting along our Elk Valley corridor.”

For more information, please contact:

Dan Savage, Event Director
(250) 423-4727

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