Mountain biking events provide riders spectacular views, elevations, and trail difficulty, not to mention a fun experience. Whether you are a beginner looking for a new challenge or an experienced racer wanting another track to conquer, you can be sure to find all that and more on a trail among the top eight of the world’s best mountain biking events.
Taking place across South Africa’s Western Cape, this 800m kilometer race is known as an original great and one that riders should not miss. This race is held over an eight day period and attracts up to 1200 riders that are teamed up in pairs.
The course changes every year, offering riders unexpected views and new challenges. This variety alone attracts some of the biggest names in the mountain bike racing industry, yet there are more and more amateurs signing up with each passing year. So no matter your skill level, you can be sure to fall in love with the Western Cape of South Africa.
Throughout the race you can expect up to 15,000 meters of climbing over the eight day period. There is also a time-trial prologue included. Not only will you experience the challenge of the elevation and climbs, but the views are nothing more than spectacular.
The entry fee for this race is 900 South African Rand per team, yet there are early bird prices available each year. Be quick to purchase the early bird package though, due to the popularity of the Cape Epic, they sell out fast.
- Dates: 23rd-30th March
- Location: Across the Western Cape
- Stages: 7
- Miles: 425 and up
- Cost: 900 South African Rand per team
The Trans Portugal trail is a mountain biking event that caters to the self-sufficient rider. That’s right, the self-sufficient rider. Along the route of the Trans Portugal, there will not be any aid stations, and outside assistance is strictly forbidden. Don’t let this stop you from experiencing one of the greatest events in the world, there are several hotels and post-race meals once you finish your day.
Although the Trans Portugal lacks trail support, the events innovation greatly makes up for that. Each rider will be given a GPS guided map which allows for easy navigation and takes away the use of ribbons, trail markers, and often unreliable and confusing trail signs.
The Trans Portugal is known as one of the purest and longest mountain biking events in the world. Starting from Braganca, the eight day event takes you south, all the way to Sagres. The stages featured in the Trans Portugal allow the rider to experience much of Portugal’s natural beauty and landscapes. Just be sure to pack some extra supplies before you go.
- Dates: 7th-15th May
- Location: Portugal
- Stages: 8
- Miles: 621
- Cost: Starts from 1699 Euros
BC Bike Race
The BC Bike Race is one of Canada’s most well-known and well-loved mountain biking events. Needless to say, this event sells out fast and is popular amongst beginners and professional riders. The locations on the trail are famous for their views and many hail the BC Bike Race as one of the best in the world.
Throughout the race you will experience single tracks that many boast to being some of the best in the world and often remind racers of the reason they love mountain biking. There are also ‘Lite’ versions of the race that are available for beginners, yet the challenge of the original track is what attracts most experienced riders.
The sheer volume of riders wanting to join the event each year has led to registration sell outs in mere seconds and many riders find themselves on waiting list for the next year’s event. Trust in the fact that it is more than worth the wait. If you are lucky enough to get into the current year’s event, you will have an amazing experience that will leave you coming back for more next year.
- Dates: 6th-13th July
- Location: British Colombia, Canada
- Stages: 7
- Miles: 208 miles
- Cost: $2249 Canadian dollars
The Terra Australis is one of the newer mountain biking events in the racing circuit only being seven years old. However, it is quickly making a name for itself due to the stunning views of the Australian alpine region. Although the alpine region of Australia isn’t well known, it is becoming more and more popular with each year due to the Terra Australis.
Previous years have shown riders some of the toughest terrain that Australia has to offer. Currently, the route has been revised to cater to a wider audience of riders which will allow more people to experience what the Terra Australis has to offer.
The remote trails give riders steep climbs and elevation gains of 3974 meters along with epic descents that features a colorful and ever changing background. Especially now that the route has been altered, many riders are flocking to Australia for new views and amazing experiences.
- Dates: 2nd-6th November
- Location: Victoria, Australia
- Stages: 3-5
- Miles: from 60 miles
- Cost: starting from $800 Australian dollars per person
La Ruta de la Los Conquistadores
Although the La Ruta de la Los Conquistadores, or La Ruta for short, is only a three day race, riders cover a lot of ground. The La Ruta is the only trail that goes from the Pacific to the Atlantic over the American landmass. Riders will experience a variety of natural views from jungle to coasts to little towns, all within the three day period.
This famous route will not only be filled with spectacular views, you will also have climbs that reach elevations up to 20,000 feet. This alone is a feat in itself yet riders will be dealing with the tropical environment and the heat and humidity that accompany it. Luckily, there are several spots along the trail that offer support to riders to prevent dehydration. Riders not only have to prepare for the heat, they also need to bring supplies for the cold due to the high elevations at certain points in the route.
The La Ruta is not for the novice rider, yet it is famous amongst professional and expert riders. The twenty plus years that the La Ruta has been active as a racing trail shows riders time and time again what mountain biking is all about.
- Dates: 5th-7th November
- Location: Costa Rica
- Stages: 3
- Miles: 161 miles
- Cost: $1650 US dollars per person
The Trans Alp is a classic European race that takes place throughout Europe. This multi-stage race features stunning mountain top views, rolling hillsides, and small, authentic villages. The old world European charm, along with the lush green along the route, makes the Trans Alp a favorite amongst riders.
The Trans Alp will have riders going through Germany, Austria, and Italy and of course the elevation gains of up to 64,000 feet will give you breath taking views of this European alpine region. Each year this event attracts at least 1200 people, often selling out. Many riders enjoy the route simply for the fact that it takes you across three different countries, let alone offering you great descents and landscapes.
Riders seeking the epic climbs of the Trans Alp route need to train hard. The climbs after climbs in each stage are not for the novice rider. However, those wanting to conquer this alpine region can do so for much cheaper than other mountain biking events as registration is only 650 Euros. Not too bad considering the versatility of each country you will get to experience. It is important to remember that food and accommodation will need to be paid for separately, which can add up quickly.
- Dates: 19th-25th July
- Location: Germany, Austria, and Italy
- Stages: 7
- Miles: 387
- Cost: 650 Euros
Taking place in the Pisgah National Forest, the Pisgah mountain biking event will surround riders with cool, green forests and several waterfall views. The rocky, dirt track will provide speedy descents and the climbs are not as difficult as several alpine regions are known to be which allows for riders of all levels (and even families) to enjoy this event.
Along the way, the Pisgah offers riders several amenities. In fact, the Pisgah is known for having some of the best, and also the highest numbers, of amenities for riders to take advantage of. This is another attractive bonus for those who are new to the challenge of events or for those who are beginners. Some of the amenities riders can use include coffee shops, lunch and dinners, happy hours with live music, laundry service, pet services, and of course bike maintenance just to name a few.
Out on the route you can enjoy the rocky and rough terrain along with the sense of community that accompanies the Pisgah. Many riders believe that the Pisgah is truly relaxing and fun and they find themselves returning year after year.
- Dates: 13th-18th April
- Location: North Carolina, United States
- Stages: 5
- Miles: 120
- Cost: from $650 US dollars
Mongolia Bike Challenge
The Mongolia Bike Challenge is yet another event that has riders lining up for. This route is challenging and quite long, but still accessible for amateurs that have high levels of training. Many times you will see a combination of professional riders alongside hobbyists.
This exceptional route takes place across the ancient invasion route led by Ghangis Khan in the 13th century in his attempt to invade Europe, China, and the Middle East. Riders will be taken back in time as they traverse the lonely mountain side through Mongolia. Riders should expect to see several references to Khan throughout the event.
During the route riders will also see herdsmen and villages in the valleys beneath the steppes of the Mongolian mountainside. The expansive countryside surrounds riders with true beauty as they make their way to the finish line. Speaking of making it to the finish line, there is one day that is time trialed which affects the overall score of the rider or team giving an extra challenge to the already difficult course.
- Dates: 30th August – 7th September
- Location: Mongolia
- Stages: 7
- Miles: 560
- Cost: 1790 Euros per person
If you are seeking a new adventure or new challenge for your mountain biking, take a look into one (or more) of the top eight of the world’s best mountain biking events. Just be sure to train hard and have a passport ready before embarking on the greatest mountain biking routes the world has to offer. Besides, mountain biking is all about finding the best trails, so what are you waiting for?