trans rockies gravel royale
(Photo/Trans Rockies)

Winner, Winner: Canadians Take the Pot in Inaugural TransRockies Gravel Royale

The gun finally sounded at the inaugural TransRockies Gravel Royale Aug. 22 after COVID-19 delayed it for a year. When the dust cleared after four stages of gravel racing today, two Canadian cyclists came out on top.

British Columbians Rob Britton and Rach McBride claimed top honors at the 2022 TransRockies Gravel Royale, which concluded today in Fernie, British Columbia. Britton and McBride outpaced a field of more than 200 riders from eight countries in the race, which led athletes through 200 miles of wildly picturesque Canadian mountain scenery.

Britton halted the clock after 12 hours, 5 minutes, 38 seconds to win overall. McBride won the women’s division in 14 hours, 20 minutes, 47 seconds. Britton’s effort earned him his first professional gravel win.

“This was my first gravel stage race, and the group from TransRockies did a heck of a job taking care of us. Done and dusted and happy to get a win at this race and my first win as a gravel pro,” he said.

The route’s four stages consisted of 84% gravel road, 10% pavement, 5% doubletrack, and 1% singletrack. They covered 25,000 feet of climbing from the Panorama Mountain Resort along Springs Creek to the finish line in Fernie.

Other host areas along the circuitous, south-trending route included the Nipika Mountain Resort and the Village of Canal Flats, British Columbia.

McBride spoke to the quality of the course and the camaraderie that enlivened the racing experience.

“This race is definitely unlike anything else I have experienced in gravel racing so far. The courses, the multiday aspect, and the tent camping — it really all has been a fantastic experience and so fun to be surrounded by the gravel community all week,” she said.

Just minutes demarcated the men’s top podium. Meanwhile, McBride won the women’s race more handily.

Women’s Podium

  1. Rach McBride, Vancouver, B.C. — 14:20:47
  2. Lauren Cantwell, Reno, Nev. — 15:13:11
  3. Lindsay Glassford, Panorama, B.C. — 15:37:41

Men’s Podium

  1. Rob Britton, Victoria, B.C. — 12:05:38
  2. Caleb Swartz, Missoula, Mont. — 12:14:45
  3. Josiah Middaugh, Vail, Colo. — 12:17:53

Full results weren’t yet available on the TransRockies Gravel Royale website as of this writing. TransRockies action picks right back up where it left off in Fernie for the SingleTrack 6 on Sept. 6-11.

Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.