Just prior to the New Year I learned that the TransRockies was headed home.

In partnership with Travel Alberta the 2010 TransRockies now begins where it once finished. Riders will start in Fernie and ribbon through what is promised to be “the most spectacular scenery in North America” to a finish line in Canmore. For those us of living in Alberta and familiar with riding in the Banff/Bragg Creek area, many of the trails coming in the finish line will certainly feel like home.

I have to say, I’m stoked to hear about this seasons’ route changes. Though not on my schedule this season, I think the changes are due. Comparing last years TransRockies to many of the newer races (i.e. BC Bike Race, Intermontagne, etc.) the TR was a very different beast. You had to earn every checkpoint, there were no free rides from trailhead to trailhead – often resulting in a grind through many kilometres of somewhat dull logging roads. On the flip side, it sure made you appreciate the bombing descents and singletrack when it rolled out before you.

For me, I’m glad I got a chance to experience the true ‘epic’ nature of the original Transrockies, it was exactly what I was looking for (I didn’t want no stinking free rides ;-). However, given the changing nature of the race scene I think the changes made for 2010 was something the Transrockies needed.

The routes are a fair bit shorter (down ~125-150km from last year) and tout a much higher percentage of singletrack (73%!). You can get a better sense of the 7 stages here.

Most recently I learned that in addition to the massive route overhaul for 2010 the TransRockies is able to bring one more thing to the table. Only the second stage race in North America to do so, the TransRockies has earned UCI status!

With over 2,500 UCI points available it should make the lead pack very interesting… Not that I would be able to hang with those boys (or girls), but it’ll be a tremendous atmosphere to be in, and the time trial it will be really fun to watch!

Given the already world class level of racing they offer, I anticipate 2010 having an even higher level of polish.

It’s time to unleash a leaner, meaner TR!