Andes Pacifico
© [unknown]

9 of the best mountain biking events in 2016

Make 2016 a year to remember by taking on some of these incredible events.
Written by Eve Green
6 min readPublished on
Looking for a mountain biking challenge in 2016? Well, there’s nothing quite like a race to get the blood pumping.
Whether you’re looking for a test of endurance, nerve, skill or stamina, or just fancy riding some epic singletrack in a stunning location, you’ll find something to suit your needs in's list of the best mountain bike events in 2016.

1. Strathpuffer, Scottish Highlands

January 23-25

If you’re one of those riders that scoffs in the face of sub-zero temperatures and doesn’t let a little thing like inclement weather and 16 hours of darkness put you off your mountain biking, then you’ve probably already done the Strathpuffer. And if you haven’t, you should.
As events go it’s a true test of grit and determination. A 24-hour endurance race in the depths of winter in the Scottish highlands, it’s frequently snowy. It's no wonder this race is regarded as one of the toughest mountain bike events in the world.
Date: January 23-24
Location: Strathpeffer, Scottish Highlands

2. Andes Pacifico Enduro, Chile

February 9-13

Andes Pacifico mountain bike race
Andes Pacifico
On the adventure scale of mountain biking events, this scores highly. The Andes Pacifico Enduro does, as its name suggests, take riders on a journey from the high Andes mountains right down to the Pacific Ocean in Chile.
With five days of riding in extreme environments, this is not a race for the unprepared in either body or mind.
Such are the logistics involved in running the event that only 100 riders are allowed to compete. Past competitors include Fabien Barel and Jerome Clementz.
Date: February 9-13
Location: Chile

3. Dyfi Enduro, Wales

May 1

Dyfi Enduro
Dyfi Enduro
The Dyfi Enduro has been running for 14 years and has a reputation not just for the riding, which is varied, challenging and fun, but also for the overall event atmosphere. People just rave about it!
Based out of Machynlleth in Wales, it’s a mass-start MTB event which sees riders tackle a 60km route that takes in the best hidden trails the Dyfi forest has to offer, plus some random surprises along the way like live music, UFOs and aliens.
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security though, as the route involves a brutal climb and long descents.
Date: May 1
Location: Machynlleth, Wales

4. Enduro World Series Round 3, Wicklow

May 15

EWS Wicklow
EWS Wicklow
The Enduro World Series is a unique event in that it gives non-sponsored riders the chance to pit their skills against some of the best riders in the world. With the EWS heading to Wicklow for the second time in 2016, it’s only a hop, skip and a jump away.
A new lottery system has been introduced to make the entry application system fairer for non-reserved riders. This means no more frantic pressing of the refresh to get an entry. Instead, you’ll need to apply online within a 24-hour window on January 25, participants will then be randomly selected.
If you’re lucky enough to get chosen, you can expect an electric atmosphere as the craic in Wicklow for 2015 was mighty indeed.
Date: May 15
Location: Wicklow, Ireland

5. TransProvence, France

18-25 June

The TransProvence is one of those events that is definitely more about the spirit of adventure than beating the clock.
A point-to-point race, each year the route is slightly different, featuring trails hand-picked to give just the right amount of flow and challenge. The landscape of the Maritime Alps is something else, with rugged mountain tops, flower-filled meadows and torrent-filled river beds.
The race involves a week of gruelling climbs as well as technical descents. On the upside, it’s also fully supported so riders roll into base camp in the evening safe in the knowledge they can collapse into bed straight after dinner. If you take part, expect to make friends for life.
Date: June 18-25
Location: Embrun, France

6. Megavalanche, France

July 4-10

From the crazy, snowy start to the appalling countdown music, the Megavalanche is a stalwart of the mountain biker's bucket list and with good reason.
The insane mass-start race sees hundreds of riders in various waves race from the very top of the mountain above Alpe D’Huez to the valley bottom, a good 2,000 metres below.
Along the way riders can expect snow, rocks, mud, berms, jumps, climbs and forests not to mention sharp elbows and flailing limbs. It’s brutal on bike and body, but those who do make it to the bottom return home with a justified sense of achievement.
Date: July 4-10
Location: Alpe D’Huez, France

7. BC Bike Race, Canada

July 6-13

BC Bike Race
BC Bike Race
The BC Bike Race is firmly planted on many mountain biking to-do lists not because it’s horrifically gruelling or traumatic, though it’s by no means easy. It’s because over the course of seven days riders get to experience some of the best singletrack there is to be found in Canada, and arguably the world.
The race starts in Vancouver and finishes in Whistler, and the intervening days are filled with flowing wooded singletrack through unbelievably gorgeous forests. Participants also do a little island hopping between stages, taking ferry crossings between islands and the mainland.
The overall atmosphere is positive and supportive, and whether you’re there to smash your personal record or just for the experience, everyone is made to feel welcome. No wonder participants travel from around the world to take part.
Date: July 6-13
Location: British Columbia, Canada

8. Downieville Classic, California

August 4-7 

Downieville Classic
The Downieville Classic mountain bike race and festival is a unique experience, taking in the Californian gold-rush town of Downieville and the mining trails that litter the mountains around it. Expect rocky, dusty and technical trails that just go on and on and on.
The Classic is technically a point-to-point race, starting in the town of Sierra Nevada and climbing to the crest of Sierra Butte, then dropping down into Downieville itself.
Date: August 4-7
Location: Downieville, California, USA

 9. Red Bull Foxhunt

Autumn (day TBC)

Gee Atherton at Foxhunt
Gee Atherton at Foxhunt
Fancy pitting your riding skills against either Rachel or Gee Atherton? Well, the Red Bull Foxhuntgives you exactly that opportunity.
The format is a twist on mass-start MTB races, based around traditional fox hunts. In this case, an Atherton takes on the roll of the fox and has to chase down and pass as many of the ‘hounds’ as possible as they race from the top to bottom of a scenic hill-side course.
Gee Atherton is the fox in the Northern Irish race in the Mourne Mountains, and Rachel Atherton is the fox in a women-only version that runs just outside of Edinburgh.
The events are also famed for their fun, festival like atmosphere, but keep your eyes peeled for entry to open as they tend to fill up quickly.
Date: TBC, autumn 2016
Location: Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland or Edinburgh, Scotland
Like this? We reckon you'll love these: