2022 Bikepacking Events Preview
With international travel slowly opening back up, 2022 looks set to be the year that international racing picks up pace and some slumbering giants return to the calendar. Our Bikepacking Events Calendar has been filling up quickly and here we’ve taken a closer look at the events we are supporting in 2022.
Supporting races and events is just one of the ways we give back to the sport we love. While there are a great many events around the world that we love dotwaching or even racing, the events we support are all special and push the sport forward in their own unique ways. Read on to discover what we think are some of the best races and events to enter or dotwatch over the coming year.
The TransAtlantic Way was inaugurated in 2016 by Adrian O’Sullivan, a much-loved maverick of the sport, with an incredible long-distance racing record. Now run as a ‘ride’, rather than a race, the Transatlantic Way continues to challenge riders with wild weather and tough climbs. An accessible event with an inclusive format, manageable logistics and friendly locals, this is a great event to ride and to dotwatch. 2020 and 2021 saw strong fields of predominantly Irish riders and we’re hoping to see Rachel Nolan (first finisher in 2020) return to ride in a more international field.
With two successful editions behind them, the APN team continue to bring a refreshing format to ultra-distance events. With 10 checkpoints spread across the north of England, participants must choose which order to visit them in and design their own route. Balancing terrain, climbing, and weather conditions makes this a challenging event for the riders and a unique dotwatching experience for those at home. You can also expect to be able to follow some of the Apidura team, with Josie and Ali making their road ultra-distance racing debut.
Billed as a weekend-long gravel experience located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, the Fernie Gravel Grind is an event for anyone and everyone. Offering multiple distances, race categories and activities for the whole family, this grassroots community weekend in British Columbia is truly accessible. Having achieved a 50/50 gender split for their 2021 edition, it continues to draw riders from across Canada and we look forward to a weekend of racing and partying.
After a two-year enforced hiatus, the TCR returns to its spiritual start at Muur van Geraardsbergen, once more heading east, finishing on the Black Sea in Burgas. We’re expecting a few surprises from a mixed field of new riders, established racers and returning champions this year, with the route looking to be the longest since TCRNo3 it’s going to be present a unique set of challenges for everyone.
Badlands, the brainchild of David Rodriguez, has quickly established itself as the premier gravel race in Europe. We’re big fans of the organizers, David and Aza, who with a thoughtful approach to bikepacking have helped grow the racing scene in Spain. Expect to see a mix of professional and amateur riders tackling one of the most visually dramatic events of the season. A great race for dotwatchers, the front of the field is usually fiercely contested by blisteringly fast riders.
One of the least established events on this list, Bentang Java is at the forefront of a growing community of endurance cyclists in Southeast Asia. A grassroots event, created by local ultradistance athletes, Bentang Java can expect a strong field of Indonesian riders who take racing seriously but always seem to have a smile on their faces. In 2022, we hope to see the field entertain some international riders, keen to explore what Indonesian road cycling has to offer.
Apidura first met Juliana Buhring, the organiser of the Two Volcano Sprint, when she competed in the Transcontinental Race 2013 and placed ninth overall. She later rode alongside Mike Hall during the 2014 Trans Am Bike Race where she finished fourth. The Two Volcano Sprint attracts a strong field of riders who are drawn to the Italian hospitality, tough climbing and simple logistics as it draws the European season to a close. Always a closing highlight of the European racing calendar, many enter Two Volcano Sprint as much for the food as the racing.
One of the most visually stunning races in the season, Across Andes covers a mixed-terrain route crisscrossing the Andes Mountain range. The elevation and dramatic landscapes have firmly placed the race in the calendar as one to watch. Since the inaugural 2019 event, Mariano López and Paulina Pinto, the masterminds behind the race, have been at the heart of the growth of ultra-cycling in the region. Last year, our ambassador, Sonia Colomo, won the women’s field and we’re looking forward to seeing another strong women’s field this year.