Naked Pioneer Ultra Race

naked pioneer ultra-endurance bicycle race

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The Naked Pioneer is a 2,820 km ultra-endurance cycling race that challenges riders with a monumental 39,116 meters (nearly 128,000 ft.) of climbing as it winds its way through the most stunning snow-capped mountains, rich green rain forests, World Heritage sites, national parks and wildlife protected areas that Canada has to offer. A spectacular journey that never stops challenging and enticing riders, the Naked Pioneer allows each cyclist to discover exactly how far they can go. Truly, an ultra-endurance cycling challenge of epic proportions!

The Naked Pioneer ultra race starts and finishes near the shores of the Pacific Ocean in picturesque White Rock, British Columbia. But, for the riders, the picture abruptly changes with 4 category 1 climbs to conquer the first day. Riders, and their escort crews, travel through Manning Provincial Park, up over Copper Mountain to Princeton, BC, onward to Peachland, BC and then south on the shores of the 135 kilometer long Okanagan Lake (said by some to be home to a giant serpent-like creature named Ogopogo) past Summerland and into Penticton, BC.

While the glistening waters of Okanagan Lake and the surrounding orchards and vineyards might have produced a calming effect on rider’s outlook, leaving Penticton will assist them in dialing their focus back in on the task at hand. Because next up is a daunting collection of 8 category 1 climbs and 8,600 meters of total climbing over the next 515 km of riding on their way to Elko, BC. Guaranteed to thin out the field, most riders and their crews will need to rethink their race plan at this point as they gear up for more mountains.

From Elko to Sparwood, BC and into the Province of Alberta through Kananaskis Country and Banff National Park the course levels out in the high Alpine country where riders constantly encounter summits of approximately 2 kilometers in the sky. Bears are often seen nibbling on the wildflowers that populate the grassy meadows that flourish in the shadows of the Canadian Rockies.

Riders will not only see ancient glaciers, they will smell and sense the cool winds that constantly swirl and soar atop these gigantic ice formations. While road traffic is limited to mostly vacationers bcmount43and support services, riders will share the scenery with mountain goats, deer, eagles, hawks and other wildlife. Under a summer sun, there is no other place like it on earth. Leaving Banff National Park, staying on the world acclaimed Ice fields Parkway riders head directly into Jasper National Park where they will encounter more natural beauty in the high Alpine of the Canadian Rockies although the descent has begun as the route returns to about the one kilometer high level.

It is here where Naked Pioneer riders leave the Naked Rider’s Race route and heads west to Prince George, BC where they re-join the Rider’s Race route. Along their course cyclists ride through Mt. Robson Provincial Park, the start of the Fraser River which flows into the Pacific Ocean not that far from the finish line. This area involves moderate climbing allowing riders to recover before heading along highway 97 and its seemingly endless rollers (18 cat 5 climbs) on their way to Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, Clinton and into Lillooet, BC.

From Lillooet, the Naked Pioneer travels to Pemberton via extremely windy and steep roads on route to the home of the 2010 Olympic Winter Alpine events; the ski-resort of Whistler. The finish line is now so close you can began to imagine yourself crossing the finish line and raising your arms in triumph. A quick 5 hour ride down Highway 99, into Squamish and Vancouver and suddenly riders are a couple of bridges and 70 kilometers from where it all started in White Rock, BC.

In total; riders will have to contend with 62 cat 5 climbs, 23 cat 4 climbs, 14 cat 3 climbs, 11 cat 2 climbs and 16 category 1 climbs! This is an incredible challenge!

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