The third edition of the B.C. Bike Race will start on the picturesque Lions Gate Bridge and will run the legendary trails of the North Shore.

The race, a seven-stage endurance event, is geared as the ultimate trial for weekend warriors and attracts some of the world’s top mountain bikers.

It begins June 28 on the Lions Gate Bridge and ends July 4 in Whistler.

“If you are a mountain biker — this is your goal,” said race spokesman Andreas Hestler. “It’s seven days of the finest single-track in the world.”

The race sold out in its first two years, drawing 200 riders in 2007 and 400 in 2008.

Hestler said the 2009 race is 68 per cent sold. Despite a softening economy and a handful of new competing races launching around the world, he anticipates that it will be sold out by the end of February.

At the request of participants, and the evolution of the race itself, the B.C. Bike Race this year will include the renowned North Shore trails.

“The North Shore of Vancouver for mountain biking is like the North Shore of Hawaii for surfing,” said Hestler. “It’s a legendary place where people come from all over the world to ride their bikes.”

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