Written by: Jen Hanks
The Pikes Peak Apex, Presented by RockShox returns for its 3rd year. The 4-day mountain bike stage race takes place September 22-25th in Colorado Springs, Colorado and serves to showcase the best trails and fall foliage in and around the area. The race attracts top pro racers with its $25,000 prize purse that is split equally between the men’s and women’s elite fields.
In 2021, US marathon national champion, Alexis Skarda (Santa Cruz #htSQD) took the overall title in the women’s category, while her teammate, 3-time US XC national champion, Keegan Swenson, won the men’s category.
Pikes Peak Apex isn’t just for the pros, the trails raced each day are specifically chosen to be enjoyed by pros and amateurs alike with a well-balanced combination of big climbs and smile-producing singletrack. Micah Rice, Pikes Peak Apex Executive Director, has this to say about the race:
“As the highest-profile mountain bike event on the Front Range, The Pikes Peak APEX should be a bucket list event for all amateur cyclists. The Pro riders will split up the $25,000 prize list, but the top age-group riders both men and women will win RockShox forks and other prizes. The format of the event is meant to be demanding, but very doable by the intermediate rider. We have world-class courses, fully stocked aid stations, and lots of support for all levels of mountain bikers. Enjoy the amazing Rocky Mountain singletrack and the vistas on the slopes of Pikes Peak while testing yourself against some of the best riders in the world.”
While the final route of each stage has not yet been released, you can expect the following:
Stage 1: Prologue: As in previous year’s editions, Day 1 will be a time-trial in Palmer Park. Racers can expect amazing views of downtown and the front range in this popular local destination.
Stage 2: Canon City: Stage 2 will be utilizing never-before raced trails in Canon City, Colorado. Racers will commute roughly 50 miles from Colorado Springs to the stage start and can expect ~35 miles of purpose-built trail and 4000+ feet of climbing. A highlight of the stage is crossing the Royal Gorge suspension bridge that hangs 1000 feet above the Arkansas River.
Stage 3: TBD: While details of Stage 3 have not yet been released, it has been reported that this stage will be ~28 miles with 3000ft of climbing; perhaps allowing a bit of recovery after Stage 2s queen stage
Stage 4: Cheyenne Canyon. Stage 4 serves up 30 miles and 3900 ft. of climbing featuring new singletrack in Daniel’s Pass. After finishing the day, racers will head to America the Beautiful Park for the APEX afterparty and outdoor festival where beer, lunch, and live music will be dished out all afternoon.
Whether you are a top pro looking to see where you stack up against the best of the best or a first-time stage racer, the Pikes Peak APEX is for you! Registration starts at $395 and includes:
- 4 days of challenging riding
- Fully stocked aid stations
- Tech/Medical support
- Swag bag with APEX gear and Sponsor swag
- Meal and Beer (21+) at the APEX Afterparty
Racers can choose from solo or duo categories.