The mountain biking event calendar is packed full of competitive races and community rides almost every weekend. Most cities will have their own mountain biking clubs holding social and competitive rides; however, for the most serious contingency in the sport, riders travel to some of the top mountain biking events in the hope to claim glory on the world stage. Whether it’s epic multi-stage pedalling journey across the desert or traversing treacherous terrain in the Himalayas, these are five of the world’s top Mountain biking events.
1. Trans Pyrenees
Dubbed as one of the ‘greatest personal challenges’, the Trans Pyrenees spans an 820km route from the Mediterranean Sea to across the Spain’s Pyrenees mountains range, before ending in San Sebastian on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. There’s around 20,000 metres of climbing and a daily average of 100 kilometres. This 8-day multi stage event is officially non-competitive, however, the sheer numbers mean there are always those who decide to race competitively. Shorter 4 stage events are also available for those wanting a more moderated challenge.
2. Crocodile Trophy
In Australia’s far north, riders race across the outback in a different location each year – the only constants being that it is hot, dry and dusty. This event has attained something of a cult status for mountain bikers around the world due to the ruggedness of the outback the ride takes place in. Crocodiles, death adders, and venomous spiders call this area home, and with eight stages and riders camping in tents each night, this ride is not for the faint of heart.
3. La Ruta
Despite spanning the entire country of Costa Rica, from the Pacific in the west to the Caribbean in the east, this 251 km race may be shorter compared to other mountain biking marathons, however, it is no less intense. The epic yearly race sees riders compete in three stages covering diverse terrain including coastal savannah, tropical jungle, around active volcanoes, and then through fertile coffee plantations. Featuring an array of high profile international sponsors, it’s a short and brutal race that many dub the toughest on the planet.
4. Yak Attack
Riders wanting to push themselves to the limit partake in the 8-stage Yak Attack where things don’t always go to plan. Set among the monumental Himalayas, the Yak Attack is the highest mountain bike race on earth, where air is thin and services and infrastructure are limited. Starting in Kathmandu and passing through Himalayan villages, the biggest challenge is left until near the end of the race during stage 7 where riders ascend Throng La Pass at 17,700 feet. Sand, snow and glacial rivers add to the intrigue and allure of this event with attendance being revered by competitive riders around the world.
5. Yukon Arctic Ultra
If the jaunt across the Himalayas seemed tough, this one take the toughness crown as riders race across tundra sub zero temperatures in Canada’s remote Yukon territory. Riders can choose between 100, 300 or a numbing 430 miles in what can easily be argued is the world’s toughest ultra marathon.
For professional mountain bike riders who live, eat and breathe the sport, participating in one of these events is something they’d love to tick off their bucket list. Are you interested in jumping on the mountain biking bandwagon? Need to upgrade your existing bike? Stores such as 99 Bikes have all the models and facilities that you could need. There’s no time like the present to get started. In no time at all, you may even find yourself signing up for one of these events!