Format & Rules

Is it a stage race? Is it a multi-day Gran Fondo? Is it a backcountry adventure on the slopes of Pikes Peak? Is it a celebration of bikes in Olympic City, USA? YES.

The APEX is a multi-day mountain bike challenge that combines all of these. 


Stage 1: Time Trial

Stages 2-4: Mass Start*

The Top 20 Male and Top 20 Female finishers from the previous day will be called to line up first. Everyone will start together.


Finishes will be sorted out by timing chip and the male and female finishers across the line will split the $25,000 prize purse based on overall time for the four days. There will be a $100 bonus for the male and female overall winner each day, but almost all the prize money will be in the overall standings.


The event is designed to be challenging, but not too technical.  Let’s just say the courses will be somewhere in between the Leadville 100 and the Breck Epic when it comes to technical difficulty.  The first day will just shake out the legs with a 45-60-minute prologue on Thursday afternoon. The following three longer days won’t be as easy, with up to 50 miles of riding, but some of the course will be on wide open dirt roads which ride pretty fast. See more about the courses.


You can ride any bike you want, but we don’t recommend gravel bikes. There is plenty of backcountry single track that can get a bit rocky and loose. You cannot change bikes during a stage, but you may switch bikes between stages if you wish. See more on Bike Selection.


The event is designed so each rider will have plenty of support on the course. There will be several neutral aid stations each of the longer days which will also have limited neutral technical and medical support. All aid stations will have drink and food that is available to all participants, so feel free to stop for a minute to fill up a bottle, grab a snack and keep going.


The Pikes Peaks APEX is held under USA Cycling rules, and a USA Cycling Official will be on-site throughout the event. 

*PLEASE NOTE: In 2020 we utilized a COVID-19 Safety plan that changed our start format. We had a start format that included start waves of 25 riders at a time with the option to start by yourself if you choose to stay distant from others. Stage 1 will be a time trial format--all riders will start alone.   Please stay tuned to our updates as we work with local authorities to create the best way forward for 2021.