5 stages, 4 Islands, Infinite stories waiting to be created! The 4Islands MTB Croatia awaits.
The 4Islands MTB Stage Race is the quintessential European destination race. Think incredible hidden coves lined by the turquoise waters of the Adriatic, to a backdrop of far hills and jagged peaks. Think quaint villages rich with old-world charm… And trails. Imagine a combination of historic pathways, hand-built singletrack, goat trails and cobblestoned village roads linking it all up.
Situated in the north-eastern part of the Adriatic Sea, Croatia’s Kvarner Bay is simply spectacular. The bay is characterised by its beautiful islands, the largest of which are Krk, Cres, Lošinj and Rab.
These islands attract tourists from all over the world, who flock to the bay for its beaches, diverse cultural heritage, great seafood and vibrant nightlife. It is also the four islands that make up the 4Islands MTB Stage Race.
Taking place from 19 – 23 April 2022 as part of the Epic Series, teams of two will tackle a 262-kilometre route (consisting of a prologue and four stages) with some 5720m of climbing, each of which is held on a separate Croatian Island. From Krk to Rab, on to Cres and finally Losinj, the race takes in the best of what the four islands have to offer, giving riders an all-round experience featuring varied terrain and challenging conditions.
If the novelty of riding on a new landmass each day is not enough, each stage starts with riders setting off from the deck of a boat and onto the trails. For riders who haven’t grown their sea legs yet, the hotel option accommodates riders on each Island the stage takes place on. Now in its seventh year, the event features five stages, starting with a 13km Prologue to determine the seeding positions for the first stage.
Stage 1 is a 71km tour of Krk featuring some brutal climbs. Stage 2 is 65km with a little over 1000m of climbing on Rab, the island affectionately known as ‘Sandy-’ or ‘Emerald’ Isle as it has the largest number of sand beaches in the Adriatic. The 73km Stage 3 is dubbed “The Shepherd’s Paradise” and takes place in an area normally restricted to bikes that’s made up of narrow lanes, trails and pristine seaside views that you would not be able to experience outside of the 4Islands MTB Stage Race. The final stage is a 40km burn with 900m of climbing on Lošinj. The shortest but most intense stage of the race, it is a fitting finish.
Most of the riders who have crossed the beautiful finish line on Lošinj over the years will tell you that it is a truly bitter-sweet experience: A huge achievement to have finished, but a sad moment because you are done riding the amazing trails.
To get to that finish line, teams are part of a marvel in travel, catering, accommodation and race organisation logistics. In terms of accommodation there are two main options: Teams can either stay in the race hotels and take the race-organised ferry transfers; or, choose to add to the Adriatic experience by staying on one of the partner boats. There are various boat packages, all featuring a famous host who will take care of you and provide you with all the information needed for each stage of the race, and much needed post-race refreshments and entertainment.
The race is a truly multinational experience with riders from some 33 countries having participated over the years. The start list is limited to 600 riders (300 teams) and always sells out fast. There is no doubt that the seventh edition of this unique MTB experience will be one remembered and recounted for years to come.
If the above reasons haven’t been enough to get you packing your bike and bags and buying an entry, riders, who register their interest, can qualify for the Absa Cape Epic by racing the 4Islands MTB Croatia. In addition, riders who have met the criteria of becoming an Epic Legend will receive their iconic medal and spot in the Epic Series upon crossing the finish line, in Lošinj.
Are you ready to Conquer The Rocks? Registrations to the 2022 4Islands MTB Croatia are open!
Secure your spot by visiting 4islandsmtb.com