5 DAYS OF GRAVEL BIKE RACING IN BC's OKANAGAN

Course Info

2022 course info coming soon

The multi-day stage format will allows us to dig in and explore this amazing region, and all it has to offer. The fall colours will be arriving as the grapes meet their makers in the pristine Okanagan. Join us to welcome the local wine harvest as we zig zag through the countryside hunting for challenges. Open your eyes, ears, throbbing legs and pounding heart rate to the gravel experience of a lifetime.

Expect to be challenged. We’re not aiming to be the normal soul crushing mega distances. We’ve set our sites on a brash and bold mix of everything a gravel bike is capable of, hopefully you and your trusty steed are ready to Explore and your Spirit of Adventure is up to the challenge.

While the pro’s may be out for 3 hours (on longer days 100Km +) – the majority of racers will be 4 hours (on longer days, 100km+). Day 1 and 4 are shorter, Day 2, 3 and 5 are longer, designed that way so there is room to rest, push hard, catch your breath and if you have done all that right, push hard to the finish line on day five. 

Stage One – Welcome to the Okanagan

44km Distance, 846m Climb, -848m Descent, 822m High Point

Start/Finish Location: Manitou Beach, Naramata

Stage one will be a fast and furious loop around the Naramata Bench touching into the local roads, paths, trails, hillsides and local wineries.

A single track loop through Campbell Mtn trails with some funky exposed sections that will challenge the skills of gravel bike riders…and maybe test your nerves as well! The route is designed to challenge your skills and strength while just whetting the appetite for those days to come. Keep your head up if you can and enjoy the amazing views and mixed terrain on offer in this culturally rich region as you imagine a taste of the old world. A sparkling wine to open the celebration, perhaps?

Parcours:

  • 16.5 km Orchard and vineyard parade on hilly and degraded paved surface roads.
  • 15 km Off-road riding on singletrack and gravel roads. 
  • 10 km Finale on paved and gravel road ending on a long flat rail-grade drag to the timing mat. 
  • 4 km off the clock roll down paved roads to Manitou Beach.

Start Notes: Mass Start with Moto Lead out. Self-Seeding on first stage. 

Finale Notes: No photo finish, timing mat only. Use caution sprinting. 

Cautions: Shared road with cars. Riders should always be mindful of vehicles and pay attention to Motos and course marshals. Use caution approaching corners where Traffic Control Professionals are working. 

Have a look: Trailforks Stage 1

Stage Two – INTO THE MOUNTAINS

47.5km Distance, 1239m Climb, -1239m Descent, 1200m High Point 

Start/Finish Location: Manitou Beach, Naramata 

Stage two will send riders into the higher mountains as they explore both back-country bliss and the nirvana of perfectly sculptured trails. There is a significant hike a bike that surely pushes the limits of where a gravel bike can go. An epic ride with the satisfaction of knowing you will return to paradise at the end of the day. The legs will feel this day as you lose all sense of direction and put your nose deeper into the gravel grinder, but don’t forget about those views. Your compass finally orients you homeward as this full course meal is almost finished serving up the apertif’s. Pair this day with a nice Beaujolais and prep up some tasty nosh to share with your friends.

Parcours: 

  • 5 km Paved uphill start 
  • 3 km Rail-Grade gravel  
  • 8.5 km Climbing singletrack 
  • 3 km uphill gravel  
  • 7 km downhill gravel 
  • 3 km mixed adventure riding (with hike-a-bikes) 
  • 16 km Finale on gravel and paved roads 
  • 2.5 km roll back to Manitou Beach (off-clock) 

Start Notes: 3 waves based on General Classification  

Finale Notes: Downhill on degraded paved rural road. Use Caution. No Photo finish, timing mat only. Use extreme caution if you are sprinting. Off-the clock through Naramata Village to Manitou Beach.  

Cautions: Shared road with cars. Riders should always be mindful of vehicles and pay attention to Motos and course marshals.  

Have a look: Trailforks Stage 2

Stage Three – Up and Over

98km Distance, 1416m Climb, -1457m Descent, 1500m High Point 

Start Location: Columbia Park, Penticton 

Finish Location: Mission Creek Mtb Skills Park, Kelowna

Leaving paradise into the unknown, you may feel like you have the measure of this giant but pace yourself as this is only the half-way point of the week. These mountains sweep like sleeping leviathans far into the distances. Don’t be fooled by what you can’t see and be sure to watch the rise over run as this course will take you far into the wilds of Canada and back again. Meat and potatoes might surely want to be paired with a nice strong Cabernet or even a Zinfandel, but lets see how our legs feel as we plummet down to Kelowna and our finish for day three.

Parcours: 

  • 8.5 km uphill paved road start 
  • 54 km gravel main road undulating 
  • 7 km gravel rail-grade 
  • 17 km gravel main road downhill 
  • 3.5 km paved downhill to timing mat 
  • 8 km roll off the clock to Mission Creek Mtb Skills Park  

Start Notes: Reverse waves (third group goes earliest) based on General Classification; moto lead out. A few situations that require rider awareness and obeying rules of the road.  

Finale Notes: Paved rural road. Use Caution. No Photo finish, timing mat only. Use caution if you are sprinting. Generally downhill roll off-the clock after the finish timing mat. Rules of the road to Mission Creek Mtb Skills Park with marked turns.  

Cautions: Shared road for uphill start, use bike path as much as possible. Backcountry setting, watch for wild animals. Riders should always be mindful of vehicles and pay attention to Motos and course marshals.  

Have a Look: Trailforks Stage 3

Stage Four – OUT AND ABOUT

44km Distance, 1082m Climb, -1081m Descent, 1100m High Point 

Start/Finish Location: Mission Creek Mtb Skills Park, Kelowna 

Now that your legs are tired but your spirit is fired up it’s time to test your mettle and your resolve. Nothing hurts so good as back to back adventures – well here is where we must find our spirit and personal grit to overcome this epic gravel grind. Obstacles were put in our way to be torn down and overcome. Enjoy the distance, the scenery and local fall colours as you sink deeper into your Okanagan experience. Perhaps today is paired with a flight of local tasty beers, hand crafted to delight your taste buds.

Parcours: 

  • 15 km Paved to gravel uphill start 
  • 17 km rolling singletrack 
  • 4km paved Finale to finish mat 
  • 8km paved roll back to Mission Creek Mtb Skills Park (off-clock) 

Start Notes: 3 waves based on General Classification groupings; moto lead out 

Finale Notes: Paved rural road. Use Caution. No Photo finish, timing mat only. Use extreme caution if you are sprinting; stop sign just ahead of mat. Generally downhill roll off-the clock, rules of the road to Mission Creek Mtb Skills Park with marked turns.  

Cautions: Much if this course is singletrack and alt. bike parcours. Shared road with cars. Riders should always be mindful of vehicles and pay attention to Motos and course marshals.  

Have a Look: Trailforks Stage 4

Stage Five – GRAVEL PAIRS WELL WITH PINOT

76km Distance, 1126 m Climb, -1196m, Descent, 1300m High Point 

Start Location: Mission Creek Mtb Skills Park, Kelowna 

Finish Location: Manitou Beach, Naramata 

With so many options on hand we can choose a few different ways back to paradise in Naramata, or have we been in paradise the whole week? Timelines are blurry as we mount our trusty steeds for this the last day but our focus and resolve remain strong. What goes up must go down, so it’s back up and over the relentless mountains of the Okanagan. There may be some familiar curves and bends as you sail full speed into the final km’s of this first ever Gravel Explorer – congratulations you are officially a pioneer and a champion!!

Parcours: 

  • 18.5 km uphill paved start 
  • 40 km down grade rail trail gravel (trestles included) 
  • 4 km downhill gravel road 
  • 4.5 down grade rail trail gravel to finish mat 
  • 8 km Celebration Parade to Manitou Beach down grade gravel and steep downhill paved 

Start Notes: 3 waves based on General Classification groupings; moto lead out 

Finale Notes: 4. 5 km Down grade gravel rail trail approach stretch. No Photo finish, timing mat only. Use caution if you are sprinting. Take time to use old rail tunnel for photos. Celebration Parade after the final stretch of rail grade is steep downhill roll off-the-clock, rules of the road to Manitou Beach with marked turns.  

Cautions: Shared road start and Celebration Parade with cars. Riders should always be mindful of vehicles and pay attention to Motos and course marshals. Very Steep sections of the Celebration Parade.  

Have a Look: Trailforks Stage 5