Cycling enthusiasts will be flocking to Banff National Park from June 12-15 for the 2014 Bike Fest road bike racing event. Taking place over 4 exciting days, Bike Fest 2014 will comprise 5 races, 4 of which will be in and around the town of Banff, with one race starting further west in Lake Louise.
Each race course route can be seen on the Banff Bike Fest map, an interactive Google map showing all the courses as well as the start and finish areas for each event.
Cascade Shops Prologue – June 12
This is a 1.5 km steep climb with approx 100m of elevation gain starting from the corner of Buffalo Street and Otter Street, heading up Buffalo Street past Surprise Corner onto Tunnel Mountain Drive and ending at the corner of Tunnel Mountain Drive and St Julien Way, behind the Banff Centre. The race starts at 6pm and riders will start individually every 30 seconds.
Lake Louise Road Race – June 13
Starting and finishing in Lake Louise, the majority of this 64 km race takes place on the Bow Valley Parkway, Highway 1A, heading east from Lake Louise past Castle Junction as far as Johnson Canyon Campground area where racers will turn around and head west back along the Bow Valley Parkway to Lake Louise. The race starts at the Lake Louise Recreation Centre on Village Road at 9.30am for Cat 1/2 Men, 9.45am for Cat 3/4, and 10am for the Open Women category. The race finish is 1km east of the 1A Exit to Lake Louise.
Individual Time Trial (ITT) – June 14
Taking an out and back route along the scenic Vermilion Lakes Road, the Time Trial sees cyclists racing against the clock on an 8 km course starting and ending at the start of Vermilion Lakes Road off Mt Norquay Road on the edge of the town of Banff. The race starts at 8am with riders leaving every 30 seconds.
Criterium – June 14
One of the most exciting races of Bike Fest, and also one of the most popular for spectators, the Criterium involves racing multiple loops of a short 1 km circuit with tight turns and fast moving action in downtown Banff, counterclockwise along Banff Avenue, Wolf St, Beaver St and Moose St. The races kick off with the Cat 5 riders at 4.00pm who will be riding 25 laps of the course, followed at approx 4.45pm by Cat 4 racers riding 26 laps, 5.30pm Cat 3 racers riding 30 laps, 6.15pm the Open Women category riding 30 laps, and culminating in the fastest and longest race of the evening with Cat 1/2 Men racing 50 laps of the course, starting at approx 7.10pm.*
*Start times are estimated.
Little Crits & Cruiser Crit
Preceding the Criterium on June 14 are two fun bike races for anyone to join in. Starting at 2.30pm the Balkan Restaurant Little Crits gives kids up to 11 yrs the chance to race on the Criterium course while raising funds for Banff Elementary School. With the styles of bike as varied as the costumes of the riders, the Cruise for a Cause is a fund raising event which is as comical for the spectators as for the participants, starting at 3.00pm.
Tunnel Mountain Road Race – June 15
The last race of Banff National Park Bike Fest 2014, Tunnel Mountain Road Race starts from the corner of Beaver Street and Wolf Street and takes racers onto Banff Ave as far as Rocky Mountain Resort where a right turn leads uphill onto Tunnel Mountain Road which loops past the Hoodoos Lookout and Tunnel Mountain Campground, left at Buffalo Mountain Lodge onto Tunnel Mountain Drive around the back of the Banff Centre, with an exciting descent past Surprise Corner and back into town. The race is split into 3 different categories with Cat 3/4 starting at 7am, Open Women starting at 7.02am, and Cat 1/2 Men starting at 10.10am. The first 2 groups will be racing 78 km (6 laps) while the race distance for Cat 1/2 Men will be 130 km (10 laps).
To view the start and finish points for the above races as well as the routes the races will take, see the Bike Fest course map.