2020 Bikepacking Events Preview

2020 promises to be a big year for bikepacking and ultra-cycling, with more events on our Bikepacking Events Calendar than ever before. Supporting and growing this community of events is something we take very seriously, both as a sponsor and as event entrants. Here we look at the events we’re involved with and looking forward to in 2020.

06/01/2020

 

 

ATLAS MOUNTAIN RACE

15 February 2020, Morocco

 

Our Creative Content Lead, Chris is racing this inaugural event from the organiser of the Silk Road Mountain Race, alongside our ambassador Jenny Tough and supported athletes, Scotti and Ernie Lechuga. As this is the first edition, there are a lot of unknowns about the race and we can’t wait to see if Jenny, Scotti and Ernie can add to their palmares with podium finishes. Chris is simply hoping to get round!

 

A man cycling during sunset in a desert road

Rwanda Mountains landscape

 

RACE AROUND RWANDA

2 February 2020, Rwanda

 

Rwanda is one of cycling’s best-kept secrets and the Race Around Rwanda promises to be an incredible experience for participants. We are helping the organisers support a number of local riders and can’t wait to see how they get on! Our own Greg recently rode a tour of Rwanda, telling us: “Rwanda is a compact country that truly has everything a cyclist could ever want, from pristine tarmac looping through the mountains to miles and miles of challenging gravel. Furthermore, there’s a deeply ingrained bicycle culture, so expect plenty of company from locals racing you up climbs.”

 

 

ALL POINTS NORTH

22 May 2020, UK

 

All Points North is the brainchild of our Ambassador, Angela Walker, who is a linchpin of the European bikepacking scene. After a successful inaugural event in 2019, we’re looking forward to seeing more strategic racing in 2020 as participants race to cover all of the checkpoints in the order they think will be fastest. With many events moving to fixed or restricted routes, APN’s format is a refreshing change that makes for compelling dotwatching.

 

All Points North

Traniberica Badlands

 

TRANSIBERICA BADLANDS

24 May 2020, Spain

 

Transiberica’s Badlands has proven a popular choice in the office, with Chris, Greg and Harry all lining up to race. Come and say hi to the team if you’re racing or follow along on Dotwatcher if you’re sitting this one out. Watching the teaser video, it’s clear this is going to be one of the most visually dramatic events of the season, which should make for some great Instagram content on racers’ feeds!

 

TransAtlantic Way

4 June 2020, Ireland

 

Now run as a ‘ride’, rather than a ‘race’, the TransAtlantic Way remains one of the toughest events on the ultra calendar, characterised by tough climbs and even tougher weather. When it was run as a race, our ambassador, Bjorn Lenhard, finished on the podium multiple times. The more relaxed, inclusive nature of this event hasn’t dulled the shine and it promises to be a great choice for first-timers and experienced riders alike.

A person riding a bike in a road into the mountains

A cyclist in the forest

 

GBDURO

27 June 2020, UK

 

GBDURO was all the cycling press could talk about in mid-2019, when Lachlan Morton made it look easy. This year, the organisers have taken the bold decision of instigating an official ‘no-fly’ rule (requiring that riders arrive by other means of transport) to help reduce the impact of ultra-racing on our environment.  It’s great to see organisers considering the impact of their events and it will be interesting to see what effect the flying ban has on the field.

 

TRANSCONTINENTAL RACE

August 2020, Europe

The TCR needs no introduction. The pinnacle of European ultra-cycling, this will be the 7th edition we have supported and it promises to be a good one. All eyes will be on Fiona as returning champion, but the route should make this a great race for the entire field, with unique challenges the further East riders get.

A road into the mountains

A person walking next to his bike in a dirt Road into the Mountain

 

SILK ROAD MOUNTAIN RACE

14 August 2020, Kyrgyzstan

The Silk Road Mountain Race has quickly cemented itself as one of the most visually stunning, but challenging events on the ultra-calendar. Our own Jenny Tough was first woman at the inaugural event in 2019 and Scotti Lechuga shared her thoughts on winning the pairs category in 2019, with her partner Ernie. Updates to the route for 2020 will keep the challenge fresh for returning racers.

 

TORINO NICE RALLY

7 September 2020, Italy & France

 

The Torino Nice Rally is another non-race that holds great appeal for adventurous cyclists, taking in some of the best gravel Europe has to offer. The organisers champion a strong environmental and socially conscious approach to riding, and this is another event that discourages flights for participants. We spoke to some previous entrants about the appeal of this more relaxed style of event late last year.

 

Torino Nice Rally

A group of cyclists in a dirt road toward a lagoon

 

SBT GRVL

16 August 2020, USA

 

SBT GRVL has quickly established itself as a leading gravel event on the burgeoning US gravel scene, selling out in just 25 minutes for 2020. This year, the event has partnered with Leadville to offer the ultimate US, high altitude endurance doubleheader, with Leadville 100 on Saturday and SBT GRVL on Sunday. It should make for an action-packed weekend of racing!

 

JAPANESE ODYSSEY

October 2020, Japan

 

The third non-race-format event on our list for 2020, the Japanese Odyssey is a curated journey through Japan that frequently proves a lot more challenging than the format suggests. James Robertson, well-known for his work documenting the Transcontinental Race, documented his 2018 Japanese Odyssey ride, titled Risk Assessment, as part of our Detour competition.

A cyclist riding in the Japanese Odyssey

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