The number of self-supported, ultra-distance bikepacking races is continuing to grow. Many races are listed below and the differences between various categories of races is summarized.

Please Contact Me if you know about a major event that should be added or if you notice any errors.

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Ultra-Distance Bikepacking Races, Road & Off-Road

The following tables contains most of the major self-supported bike races that are at least 700 km long and the clock never stops. The events are classified as to whether the terrain is generally (paved) roads, gravel (unpaved roads), MTB (off-road trails), or snow, but this only gives a very rough idea. There are also good lists at Apidura, Bikepacking.com and Bikepacking.net.

Races where the next 2019/2020 date has been announced

2019/20 start date (d/m/y) Event Region Distance
(km)
Terrain
 
Notes
04/11/2019 BikingMan Taiwan Taiwan 1,200 Road Through the mountains and along the island’s east coast.
04/11/2019 The Tassie Gift Tasmania, AUS 1,800 MTB Not much information available except for “Off-road, off-grid”.
07/11/2019 Two Volcano Sprint Italy 1,000 Road Across southern Italy and into Sicily, linking the two volcanoes of Vesuvius and Etna.
23/11/2019 Great Southern Ultra Challenge W. Australia, AUS 1,600 Road Route along lots of remote roads in the SW corner of the country.
26/11/2019 Hunt 1000 Australia 1,000 MTB From Canberra to Melbourne via the Australian Alps.
27/11/2019 The Munga Mountain Bike Race South Africa 1,100 MTB Through the semi-desert Karoo region of South Africa.
30/11/2019 Across Andes Chile &
Argentina
1,500 Road Traverses dry deserts and high mountains.
27/12/2019 The 03 New Zealand 4,000 Road Complete tour of New Zealand’s South Island.
02/02/2020 Race Around Rwanda Rwanda 1,000 Road Circular route around this high-altitude central African nation.
17/02/2020 Tour Aotearoa Brevet New Zealand 3,000 Gravel Crosses New Zealand on roads and trails. First held in 2016 and held every second year.
22/02/2020 BikingMan Oman Oman 1,100 Road Became the first event of this nature in the Middle East in 2018.
01/03/2020 Iditarod Trail Invitational Alaska, USA 1,600 Snow The original bikepacking race and still the longest fat-bike race in the world. Started in 1987 using a much shorter route, but has used the current format since 2000.
07/03/2020 TransCimbrica Germany &
Denmark
1,300 Gravel Starts and finishes near Hamburg and visits the northern tip of Denmark.
21/03/2020 Indian Pacific Wheel Ride
Official, Facebook group
Australia 5,500 Road Goes across the southern part of Australia between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It started as an organized race in 2017, but became an unofficial “Ride” in 2018.
26/04/2020 Iberica Traversa Spain 1,700 Gravel Crosses Spain using unpaved roads and trails. 1200 km version also possible.
10/04/2020 Monaro Cloudride 1000 Australia 1,000 MTB Traverses the ridgetops of the Great Dividing Range in south-eastern Australia.
17/04/2020 Hell of the North West England, UK 800 Road The route includes lots of the classic road climbs in the region.
27/04/2020 BikingMan Corsica Corsica
(France)
850 Road Short race with non-stop climbing on the Mediterranean island.
01/05/2020 Italy Divide Italy 1200 Gravel The route starts in central or southern Italy and goes up to the Alps.
01/05/2020 Race Around The Netherlands Netherlands 1,900 Road It would be difficult to find a flatter event than this, but the wind can be a major factor.
03/05/2020 Gravel Tro Breizh France 1,000 Gravel Mixed surface route over the hills and along the coast of Brittany.
09/05/2020 Race Through Poland Poland 1,200 Road Free choice of route between various checkpoints.
10/05/2020 Roam Scotland Rally Scotland, UK 700 Gravel Meandering around Scotland via a new route each year.
20/05/2020 Normandicat France 900 Road A relatively short race around NW France.
22/05/2020 All Points North England, UK 1,000 Road Free choice of route between 10 checkpoints.
23/05/2020 Highland Trail 550 Scotland, UK 900 MTB The main bikepacking race in the UK, started in 2013.
24/05/2020 Bike NonStop US USA 5,700 Gravel Portland, OR to Washington, DC on mixed surfaces including a lot of gravel rail-trails.
24/05/2020 Badlands Spain ? Gravel Route along lots of gravel roads and tracks in southern Spain.
04/06/2020 TransAtlantic Way Ireland 2,500 Road Generally follows Ireland’s Atlantic coast; 2019 will be the 4th edition.
05/06/2020 Born To Ride France-Switzerland-Italy 1200 Road Mountainous root linking ancient citadels across 3 countries.
06/06/2020 B-Hard Ultra Race Bosnia-Herzegovinia 1200 Road The route is designed to promote the country’s “natural and historic beauties”, with several different race formats offered.
06/06/2020 Arkansaw High Country Race Arkansas, US 1,700 MTB The route includes the Ozark mountains and many other valleys and ridges across the state.
07/06/2020 Trans Am Bike Race USA 6,900 Road First run in 2014, it goes from Oregon to Virginia along the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail.
11/06/2020 Taunus Bikepacking Germany 1,000 Gravel Convoluted route through the small Taunus mountain range north of Frankfurt.
12/06/2020 Tour Divide
Official, Facebook
Canada-USA 4,400 MTB Race along the Rocky Mountains from Canada through the USA to the Mexican border. It started in 2008 and had evolved from the slightly shorter Great Divide Race, which ran from 2004-10.
14/06/2020 World By Bike Challenge World ? Road Planned to be held for the first time in 2020 using the rules of the Guinness World Record for global circumnavigation, but fully self-supported. It will be a similar format to the World Cycle Race that was held in 2012 and 2014, but with different organizers.
14/06/2020 Panache Rally: Brussels-Nice Belgium-France 1,700 Road Linking the 2019 and 2020 Tour de France Grand Depart cities. Various checkpoints linked by self-navigation.
20/06/2020 North Cape Tarifa Norway-Spain 7,400 Road The longest self-supported race in Europe. Options to finish in Finland (1700 km), Austria (4100 km) or France (5400 km).
20/06/2020 Hope 1000 Switzerland 1,000 MTB The first bikepacking race in Switzerland, started in 2015 and previously called the Navad 1000. Date announced as “mid-June”.
27/06/2020 GB Duro UK 2,000 Gravel Across the length of Britain, with half of the route off-road.
27/06/2020 BC Epic 1000 B.C., Canada 1,000 MTB Generally follows the Trans Canada Trail for over 1000 km in the Rocky Mountains of southern British Columbia.
27/06/2020 TransPyrenees France &
Spain
1,000 Road Traversing the Pyrenees mountains between the Atlantic and Mediterranean. A separate event to the one organized by LostDot in the autumn that has a very similar name.
28/06/2020 Trans Alba Race Scotland, UK 1,700 Road Around Scotland, including a lot of the west coast and a couple of islands.
29/06/2020 World Gravel Challenge Iceland 2,000 Gravel Remote gravel roads through Iceland. Event is planned to be held in a different country/region every year.
04/07/2020 Around Norway Norway 3,200 Road Start & finish in Oslo, looping through the southern Norwegian coast, fjords and mountains.
04/07/2020 Vistula 1200 Poland 1,200 Gravel Mostly follows the Vistula river through Poland.
05/07/2020 Pan Celtic Race UK &
Ireland
2,600 Road Through England, Wales, and Ireland including two ferry crossing of the Irish Sea.
05/07/2020 1000 Miles Trans Czecho-Slovakia Czechia &
Slovakia
2,600 Road Route that goes all the way around these two nations, from west to east and back again.
08/07/2020 TransDolomitics Way Italy 1,200 Road Mountainous route through the Dolomites and Italian Alps.
10/07/2020 La Baroudeuse, Unpaved France 1,100 Gravel Circuit around the southern French Alps.
12/07/2020 TransOst Challenge Germany-
Romania
2,900 Gravel Crosses eastern Europe to the mouth of the great Danube river via several mountain ranges.
12/07/2020 Round Denmark Bike Race Denmark 2,000 Road The route uses a lot of dedicated bike paths, some of which are unpaved and several ferries.
12/07/2020 TransIberica Ultracycling Race Spain &
Portugal
2,800 Road Several checkpoints around the Iberian peninsula, including Europe’s highest road up the Pico del Veleta.
13/07/2020 BikingMan Inca Divide Peru 1,600 Gravel Includes a pass in the Andes mountains at over 4,700 m elevation.
19/07/2020 A-cross The 5 Belgium 1,200 Gravel Mainly around Belgium, but sections in the 4 bordering countries. A-cross The 3 is a shorter, 500 km version.
25/07/2020 Transcontinental Race
Official, Ride Far
Europe 4,000 Road The most iconic race of this style and one of the first, starting in 2013. Goes from NW Europe to SE Europe via various checkpoints with a free choice of route in between.
25/07/2020 3 Peaks Bike Race Austria-France 2,000 Road Traverses the Alps, including 3 checkpoints on classic passes.
25/07/2020 North Cape 4000 Italy-Norway 4,000 Road Crosses Europe from south to the far north.
01/08/2020 20K UltraTrail Road Italy-
Switzerland
-France
1,500 Road 20,000 metres of climbing throughout the eastern Alps including 9 passes over 2,000 m elevation.
01/08/2020 20K UltraTrail MTB Italy &
France
1,000 MTB 20,000 metres of climbing on many high-altitude old military roads near the Italian-French border.
01/08/2020 Sweet Sixteen Bikepacking Germany 2,800 Gravel Route through all 16 German states to celebrate 30 years since the country’s re-unification.
07/08/2020 The 1000 Miler South Africa 1,600 Gravel Including “as much dirt as possible” over challenging South African terrain.
08/08/2020 French Divide France 2,200 MTB Goes from the Belgian to the Spanish borders on many gravel roads and trails.
14/08/2020 Silk Road Mountain Race Kyrgyzstan 1,700 MTB Covers many dirt roads and trails in the Tian Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan (between China and Kazakhstan).
15/08/2020 La Baroudeuse, Road Slovenia
-France
2,700 Road Follows the spine of the Alps, crossing many high passes.
15/08/2020 Alberta Rockies 700 Alberta, Canada 700 MTB Follows the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
17/08/2020 Alaska Divide Alaska, USA 1,700 Gravel From Anchorage to Deadhorse through some very remote regions.
21/09/2020 BikingMan Portugal Portugal 950 Road Includes the Algarve mountains and Atlantic coast.
10/10/2020 Morocco Bike Adventure Morocco 2,900 Gravel Cross Morocco via the Atlas mountains. 2,000 km option also possible.
22/10/2020 Arizona Trail Race Arizona, USA 1,200 MTB The race started in 2006 using a much shorter route, but has used the current format since 2010.
26/10/2020 BikingMan Laos Laos 900 Road “A mountainous race course through the tropical jungle.”

Races where the 2020 date has not yet been announced

Previous edition (d/m/y) Event Region Distance
(km)
Terrain
 
Notes
23/05/19 Hydra Epic Lithuania 800 MTB Traverses the eastern part of the country, including some singletrack and riding through the capital city.
01/06/2019 American Trail Race USA 8,000 MTB Sort of an east-west version of the Tour Divide (instead of north-south), but far longer.
08/06/2019 Portugal Divide Portugal ? Gravel Checkpoints at the extreme N, E, W, and S points of the country.
17/06/2019 Grenzsteintrophy Germany 1,250 MTB Runs along the former East Germany-West Germany border. Started in 2009; will only be held every 2nd year after 2019.
07/07/2019 Bikepacking Trans Germany Germany 1,600 Gravel Lots of off-road riding over some of the more mountainous regions of Germany.
07/07/2019 Steens Mazama 1000 Oregon, USA 1,600 Road The route is primarily on paved roads, but about 10% is on gravel/un-paved roads.
28/07/2019 Colorado Trail Race Colorado, USA 800 MTB The third of the three classic races in the Rocky Mountains, started in 2007.
31/08/2019 Terra Australis Bike Epic Australia 6,500 MTB Ride from the northern to the southern tip of Australia’s east coast.
04/09/2019 Utah Mixed Epic Utah, USA 1,600 Gravel Through the mountains and deserts of this varied state.
07/09/2019 Race To The Rock Australia 3,000 MTB The starting location and route of the race varies each year, but it always finishes at Uluru (aka Ayers Rock) in central Australia.
09/09/2019 Torino-Nice Rally Italy-France 700 Gravel Covers many of the gravel, old military roads in the Alps.
16/09/2019 Black Hills Expedition S. Dakota, USA 750 MTB South Dakota now has several other bikepacking events, but this was the first in the region in 2014.
04/10/2019 Trans Pyrenees Race France &
Spain
1,500 Road Traversing the Pyrenees mountains between the Atlantic and Mediterranean and back again. Organized by Lost Dot, the same team as the TransContinental Race.
12/10/2019 Japanese Odyssey Japan 2,500 Road Several checkpoints around Japan must be visited, but it’s not a timed race.
17/10/2019 Holyland MTB Challenge Israel 1,400 MTB Goes through the historic places and landscapes of Israel.
Andes Divide S. America ? Gravel Planned to be held for the first time in late 2020 and to traverse the entire length of South America along the Andes mountains, with a shorter option as well.

Ultracycling Races & Time Trials

Upon first hearing about bikepacking races, many people compare them to supported ultracycling races like the Race Across AMerica (RAAM). The general length and the fact that the clock never stops are similar, but races labeled as ‘Ultracycling’ have a very different nature due to participants being required to have one or more support vehicles.

This website focuses on unsupported cycling / bikepacking. Cars are generally unnecessary in most people’s everyday lives and the world would be a better place if people used them less – we would be healthier, the planet healthier and cyclists safer. Cars are definitely not needed to assist someone who is riding a bike, even when they’re riding very far. In addition, the cost of participating in supported races is excessively high due to the support crew costs (for costs of unsupported races, see the Race & Equipment Costs page). For further discussion of this distinction, see this blog post.

Most ultracycling races are listed on the UltraMarathon Cycling Association website. Some of these events now have a category for self-supported riders without support crews, and so are listed below:

2020 start date (d/m/y) Event Region Distance
(km)
26/04/2020 Race Across Italy Italy 2000
13/06/2020 Race ACross Europe Europe 4,700
03/07/2020 Race Across Germany Germany 1,100
06/07/2020 Giro d’Italia Non-Stop Italy 4,000
14/08/2020 Race Across France France 2,600
15/08/2020 Race Around Denmark Denmark 1,600
28/08/2020 Hoodoo 500 Utah, USA 800

12-hour and 24-hour time trials often involve loops around a circuit, so some of them can be done without external support or at least without a support vehicle. However, I have not made a list of those.

Ultra-Distance Cyclosportives / Gran Fondos

Typical cyclosportives are designed to take average cyclists about 4-8 hours, and so are challenging and involve long distances but cannot be classified as ultra-distance. Some longer events include more than 300 km of distance and/or 5,000 meters of climbing in a single ride, many of which are listed below. In these events, riders receive support from the organizers at certain locations and group riding is allowed.

Event Country Distance Climbing Notes
AlpenBrevet Switzerland 276 km 7,000 m
Audax Alpine Classic Australia 320 km 5,500 m
Dirty Kanza Kansas, USA 320 km 3,000 m Mostly gravel/dirt roads
Dragon Ride Wales Wales, UK 305 km 5,200 m
Extrême Ride Bike Pyrénéen France 563 km 12,000m
Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge New Zealand 640 km 6,400 m 640 km = 4 laps of the lake, 2 lap (320 km) option also exists
Mallorca 312 Spain 312 km 5,000 m
Milan – San Remo Italy 302 km 2,000 m
Liège–Bastogne–Liège Belgium 273 km 5,200 m
Raid Extrême Vosgien France 550 km 12,000m
Sjælland Rundt Denmark 300 km 2,200 m
Styrkeproven Trondheim-Oslo Norway 543 km 3,600 m
Tortour Challenge Switzerland 550 km 7,000 m No group riding, many participants have a support vehicle, but riding unsupported is an option. Also 390 km version.
Trafalgar Way England, UK 500 km 6,800 m 320 km and 356 km options also exist
TransScotlandRace Scotland, UK 540 km 5,800 m More like a mini-TCR than a cyclosportif
TransWalesRace Wales, UK 346 km 6,200 m More like a mini-TCR than a cyclosportif
Tour du Mont Blanc France, Switzerland, Italy 330 km 8,000 m
Tortour Challenge Switzerland 550 km ? m Unsupported version of the larger and longer supported (ultracycling) race.
Tuscany Road Italy 560 km 10,000m
Tuscany Trail Italy 500 km ? The most popular MTB bikepacking race in Europe is around central Italy and started in 2014. More of a bikepacking race than a cyclosportif, but it’s too short to be listed in the above table and too important not to get mentioned somewhere on this page.
Vätternrundan Sweden 300 km 1,500 m
Wysam 333 Switzerland 333 km 3,200 m

Audax / Randonneur / Brevet / Centuries

The main difference between cyclosportives and audax/randonee/brevet events is that the latter are intended to be non-competitive and non-timed. Often, some support is provided by the organizers at the checkpoints and they range in distance from 200 km up to 1500 km, with a reasonable number of events in the 300-600 km range. The most important events are Paris-Brest-Paris in France and London-Edinburgh-London in the UK.

See the list on Wikipedia for other audax rides. Some such rides are suggested in the comments to this post on the TCR Facebook page. Ciclo Fachiro organizes many rides in Italy, including some that are over 2000 km long.

In the USA, “century rides” (100 miles / 161 km) are common and there are sometimes double centuries (200 miles / 322 km). These have a similar format to many audax rides. The Wikipedia page lists some of the larger and more famous such rides.

Last minor page modification: December, 2019
Last significant page update: November, 2019


Race Informationthe-riderThis page is in Ride Far, Part III: Bikepacking Race Information.