5 MTB Races From Enduro to E-bikes to Get you Stoked on Riding This Year

Here are the 2023 mountain bike races around the world, some steep, some cheap, that we're getting excited about.
Photo: BCBR

Get charged up at The BC Bike Race Mega Volt

We like bike races of all kinds, and for the third year, the electrified, offshoot race under the beloved BC Bike Race brand is back for the third time. Though the main BC Bike Race is returning to the coast this year, the Mega Volt will be based out of Naramata, inland and near Penticton.

The Mega Volt is a three-day stage race with four stages, and if we haven’t given it away yet, it’s an e-bike race. But, it’s also more, because it’s under the BCBR name. Each stage is roughly 22km/13mi, so they are light days. The routes are a blend of tech and flow trails and like any good BCBR event, there is plenty of socializing and relaxing after the riding is done.

Registration includes the riding, routes, and managed courses, on-course and post-ride fueling, morning yoga, professional photos, and more.

  • Date: June 2-4, 2023
  • Price: $395 USD
Photo: Cactus Cup, Let’s Wander Photography

Dodge the needles at The Specialized Cactus Cup

Arizona’s Cactus Cup stage race is a legacy race taking place at McDowell Mountain Regional Park in Fountain Hills, dating back to 1991, having hosted pros like Dave Wiens, Tinker Juarez, Ned Overend, and Juli Furtado. The race picked up Specialized as a title sponsor from 1992-1998 and kept athletes racing in Arizona’s cooler months until 1999 when it took a long break.

The Cup returned in 2017 with Specialized as a title sponsor, with over 700 riders, a short track XC race, a Super D, and the main event. Todd Wells took gold, with Chris Blevins on his tail. In the women’s field, Kate Courtney battled with Rose Grant, who ultimately took gold. For 2023, the Cactus Cup is back again with the main 40-mile race, a 25-mile race, time trials, and an enduro.

  • Date: March 10-12, 2023
  • Price: $45-$160
Photo: Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

Race a train at the Iron Horse Classic

The Iron Horse Classic is a legendary race in Durango, Colorado where road riders take on a train over two mountain passes for a course that’s 50 miles long with 6,000ft of climbing. The Iron Horse also has a gravel and a mountain bike race to accompany it, and this year’s race will utilize new trails being built this spring that will be a part of the new Durango Mesa Park.

The Iron Horse takes place over Memorial Day weekend with the mountain bike and gravel races happening Sunday, May 28. In the past, a lap on the XC course has taken riders through the Steamworks Brewery, and there is a new course in the works for this year.

  • Date: May 28, 2023
  • Price: $85
Photo: Pikes Peak Apex / Elevations Wheel Company

Wrangle the Rockies at the Pikes Peak Apex

The Pikes Peak Apex is part of the Colorado Springs Sports Corps and a fundraiser for the PPORA Trail Stewardship fund. Though the Apex says it features “challenging, but not overly technical” terrain, riders will still have to prepare for three days of racing at altitude.

Last year’s first-day prologue held 11.5 miles and a thousand feet of elevation gain, followed by a nearly 40-mile day in Cañon City, a 31-mile day with more than 3,000ft of climbing at Rampart Reservoir, and to finish it off, almost 30-miles with 4,000 feet of climbing in Cheyenne Canyon. Riders may not have to have highly technical skills, but they’ll need to be in shape—at least for a day. The Pikes Peak Apex offers one-day registration options in addition to the full three-day stage race.

  • Date: September 8-10, 2023
  • Price: $125-$345

Take in the culture at the TranSierra Norte

The TranSierra Norte takes place on the magical trails in and around Oaxaca, Mexico. It’s a four-day stage race, with different trails each year. The race coincides with the Dia de los Muertos at the end of October, which is often the rainy season, lending racers greenery and tacky trails.

The enduro is based around 90% descending and 10% short ascents, and between days, athletes take in mezcal distillery tours and the amazing culture of Oaxaca, Mexico. It’s as much a cultural experience as it is a race. Registration includes four nights of lodging, meals, transportation, and race support.

  • Date: October 21-28, 2023
  • Price: $1,900

(Bonus) Survive the Stone King Rally

Go big or go home. If you like long days in the saddle but want more descending and a big serving of suffering, then consider the Stone King Rally. It’s the “world’s first point-to-point MTB enduro rally” that is a progression from the famous Trans-Provence.

The Stone King Rally freshens its route each year and remains a secret until the day it starts, so racers must be prepared to dive in blind. Last year’s course covered 24 special stages, over 162-miles, with over 26,000ft of climbing, and 66,000ft of descending. That’s an average of 27-miles per day, with 4,300ft of climbing and 11,000ft of descending. Better pack an equal amount of chamois cream and brake pads.

  • Date: June 20-25, 2023 (entries closed for 2023, but follow the event to stay on track of its short entry window later this year)
  • Price: $2,400