Santa Cruz Stone King Rally 2023 unveiled
The second edition of the Santa Cruz Stone King Rally will be held between 20 and 25 June 2023 and will open for registration on November 18. This 6-day enduro rally will have 24 timed stages, a route of 250 km, a positive difference in altitude of 8,000 metres and a negative difference in altitude of 21,000 metres.
Santa Cruz Stone King Rally 2023: a modern race with a long tradition
As it did this year, the race will take place in the southwest of the Alps, one of the most beloved places for fans of road and mountain biking. Specifically, it will start in the French town of Arvieux and go all the way to the coastal town of Bordighera in Italy.
Contrary to what it might seem, the route is (almost) totally different from the one offered in this year's edition: 23 of the 24 stages are new. And this is one of the principles that Santa Cruz defends for this race: while the places where you spend the night are the same every year, the routes to get to each point vary almost completely in each edition.
Santa Cruz will not reveal the route until the first day of competition. However, it is certain that the route will pass through the Parc de Queyras, the Occitan part of Piedmont, the Roya Valley and the hills of Liguria, on a route that will pass through France and Italy.
Older fans may remember the Trans-Provence, which was first held in 2009. This race, also a Santa Cruz invention, was the first rally of its kind, so the Stone King Rally undoubtedly benefits from the experience gained during the 10 editions of the Trans-Provence. One of the most outstanding legacies of this first event is the route: starting in the Alps and finishing on the coast.
Registration for the Stone King 2023 will open on November 18th until the 20th and those who want to participate in this event should wait until the last moment as it is an international event -in which people from all over the world can participate- and in which there are 'only' 90 places available. However, the entry fee is 2,250 euros.
A race at the height of the Monviso
Faced with such a large amount of money, the question is: what does this 2,250 euros include? Part of it will be used to pay the salaries of the 35 people working on the event. There is a team of 4 professional commissaires who ride bikes, as well as 2 doctors who also ride bikes and an ambulance at the base of each stage.
On the other hand, this money will finance, for example, the tents and mats on which the competitors will sleep, the rental of equipment -vehicles, tables, accommodation for press staff, etc.- and 15 shuttles that will enable the competitors to gain more than 12,000 m of altitude in total.
Finally, they take care of logistics (moving the camp from one point to another) and food: breakfasts and lunches to take away, dinners, drinks, salads and sandwiches, among others.
The Monviso, one of the most emblematic peaks in the Alps and the tenth highest, will be a luxury spectator on the route, as -with the exception of the last day- participants will be able to observe it on the remaining days, as long as the weather permits.
There is another Stone King for those who do not want to compete
The Stone King offers another experience for those who want to enjoy these trails but without the pressure of time, although competent skills are necessary. For this, Santa Cruz offers "an innovative and accessible tourist structure", as they say, from July to October. The organiser has not yet provided any further details.
You can find all the information available on the race at this link.