It is important that every Swiss Epic rider fully understands the rules. We encourage all riders to carefully read through these before starting their training, refer back to them during training and have a last read through before rolling up to the start line.

Ignorance of the rules will not be considered as a mitigating factor.



The ALGARVE BIKE CHALLENGE (ABC) is a stage race available to all participants older than 18 years of age no matter his nationality or gender. It is a stage race in line race hosted in the historical city of Tavira located on the coastline and it will cross some of the best trails of the barrocal and Serra do Caldeirão to finish in the same place, in Tavira.
The riders participate in teams of two on a compulsory predefined course. They are not allowed to use or be helped in any way by motorized means.
All the teams participate simultaneously against each other aiming to spend the minimum amount of time to reach the finishing line each day. The winner is the team who accumulates the fastest total time after the sum of the 3 stages.
ALGARVE BIKE CHALLENGE 2020 includes a Night Prologue and 2 marathon stages totalling approximately 160 km. The race starts on the 07th February 2020 and finishes on the 09th February 2020.

The total number of teams participating in the Algarve Bike Challenge 2020 is limited to 1.000.
Registrations will be split in 3 periods. 1st Period open online on race’s official webpage on the 3rd September 2019.
1st Period – 200 rider entries in premium package and 150 in light package – Started on September 3rd until september 20th or as soon as reach the limit for this period.
2nd Period – 150 rider entries in premium package and 150 in light package – 5 days after the end of the 1st Period until October 20th or as soon as reach the limit for this period.
3rd Period – 150 rider entries in premium package and 150 in light package – 5 days after the end of the 2nd Period until December 30th or as soon as reach the limit for this period.

50 Team entries are reserved for the Organisation.

In order to become effective, a registration must be validated by the Organisation who reserves the right to refuse a registration. In this case the Organisers will inform the team of their decision by sending an email within a week. The refused entry, if already paid, will be reimbursed in full. This decision is irrevocable and The Organisers are not obliged to justify their decision.

After the subscription done the riders have 3 days to proceed with the payment of the subscription fee.
Any registration will only be considered as valid after the payment of the total both Team rider’s entry fee has been received and confirmed.

A Registration will only be validated after the receiving of the Wire Transfer proof. It can be send by mail to

The Organisation Associação Clube BCF will contact the persons subscribed in the race via e-mail address or by telephone through the contacts the participant have provided the organisation. This contact will be establish only by the organisation itself under the e-mail addresses: or in order to provide important information of the race to the participant.


Entries may not be transferred to others after December 30th.

Refund of registration fees:

  • Prior to November 30th 2019: Refund of 75%
  • Between December 1st 2018 and December 30th 2019: refund of 50%
  • As of December 31st 2019: no entry fee returned

There are no exceptions for medical reasons of injury or illness. In these cases it may be possible to transfer the registration to the following year, being this decision taken by the organisation and under a certain conditions.



Have completed at least 18 years of age upon the race start.
The participants are responsible for their physical condition and healthy condition. They must have acknowledge that this is an endurance race and a good healthy and physical condition are necessary for the required effort for this event. An according preparation must be done before the race start .
Any person suspended by a cycling federation will no be allowed to participate in the race. If the organisation decide to accept a suspended rider he/she will not be considered for any prize or classification.


Bicycle – To participate in this race it is necessary to have a mountain bike without any kind of assistance or motor engines.
Mobile Phone – All participants are required to carry a cell phone that must be switched on and operational at all times whilst they are racing.

Helmet – The use of a helmet specific to the activity is mandatory during all the stages. Any competitor who fails to comply with this rule will be suspended from the race.

In the Algarve Bike Challenge 2020 the riders of a team must wear equal jerseys (same design and colours), although the teams are free to use different design on different days.

All competitors must display their race number, facing forwards so as to be visible to anyone positioned in their line of movement. Failing to comply with this rule the team will be suspended from the race.
Modifications to the size of the number plates have to be previously allowed by the Organisers. Modifications to the design or graphics of the race number plates are not allowed. These numbers plates have designated spaces for the official race sponsors and these spaces cannot be tampered with in any way or form.
Any exhibition of graphics anywhere on the athlete or equipment that are considered obscene will be sanctioned by the offending competitor’s suspension from the race.


In the ALGARVE BIKE CHALLENGE there are 7 categories according the age of the riders and the gender. To define the corresponding category of a team is considerer the age of the younger rider on December 31st 2020:

Open Men: <40 years old both male Open Women: <40 years old both female Master Men: >40 to <50 years of age, both male Master Women: >40 to <50 years of age, both female Grand Master Men: 50+ years of age, both male Mixed: one male and one female Master Mixed: one male and one female, both with more than 40 years old. At the end of the subscriptions on December 3oth all categories must have a minimum of 5 teams per category otherwise those categories will be integrated in a major category. There will be a General Classification for all riders. 5 – THE ROUTE

The route of the Algarve Bike Challenge 2020 starts in the mystic and historical city of Tavira in eastern Algarve facing northwest to Algarve ́s inland crossing the barrocal and Serra do caldeirão coming back to Tavira. In the second stage riders will race north covering all the Tavira’s Sierra. The ABC is 95% raced in gravel roads, trails and single tracks. The course will only have sign regarding informations, intersections and danger areas. For navigation along the course the riders must have a gps device with the gpx files supplied by the organisation on the week prior the start of the race.

The race track crosses many roads and offroads as well as villages along the way. This presents an increased security risk for the racers not only due to lack of visibility, but also because of the speed of the vehicles travelling on those roads. In order to promote the racers’ security in these situations all the dangerous zones will be signalled by the Organisation. Please note that on both stages the traffic will not be closed and the riders must respect the traffic regulations.

It is mandatory to follow the race track with a high degree of precision. Penalties will be applied to those athletes shortcutting or bypassing any part of the race track. The race track is hereby defined as a 100 meter wide corridor in which the track is the middle line. Each fault will be penalised by 20 minutes for every km missed out of the race track. In these calculations fractions of a km will be considered as a full km.

The race track will not be marked or indicated beside dangerous areas. Before the Race start the organisation will send to all participant’s email address the Gps track and maps and each team must upload the file to their devices personally.
The Organisation will be on Friday 07th February 2020 in Tavira from 10am to 12am to give all the assistance in this matter.

The Organisation will not be available to upload file on team’s devices in the stage days. The competitors are fully responsible for the good operation and functionality of their GPS receivers and for the integrity of the data stored in them.


The prologue will start at 06:30pm. 3 Teams will race at the same time and depart minute by minute.

It is mandatory to use lights in the night prologue.

The Official Start Time of the stages is the one that appears in the official race program.

The Start Control gate closes 15 minutes after the Official Start Time. Any competitors that start the stage after the Official Start Time will not be penalised as long as they do it before the closure of this start control time.
Any competitor who crosses the start line after the closure of the Start Control gate time will not be considered as racing, therefore they will not be timed for that stage.

The race official time is the GPS time, and the Time Zone is Western Europe (London, Lisbon)


The Organisation will set up Checkpoints along the length of the route. The competitors will not be informed of the location of these CPs, as they works exclusively for security reasons, to ascertain that the competitors are following the race track. If any team fails to be checked at any of the CPs, they will be disqualified from the race.
The CPs may or may not be manned by someone from the organisation. When a staff member is present they will register each team’s passage by recording race number and time of passage.
Some CPs will close at a predetermined time.
All competitors who reach a CP after its closing time are obliged to stop and will either be transported to the Finishing line by the Organisation or receive instructions on how to safely get there.
Each stage’s CP closing times will be informed on the Race Book. Some teams as the top 3 of each category, and other teams that opt by this option will carry a gps tracker. Their position along the stage will be shared online by a specific weblink. Subscribing the race entry formular the riders are allowing us to share their gps positing during the stages.


The location of the Finish Control Gate will be announced to the competitors and will be marked on the gps data and maps provided. A Team finishes their stage the moment they cross the finishing line.
The Finish Control Gate closing time, will be defined by the Organisation and will be announced on the Race Book.

If a team is not qualified in any given stage, it will be assigned on the classification as DNF. In the General Classification, the Team will come after all those without disqualifications and will be positioned according to number of km done (if we have that information) amongst those with the same number of qualified stages.

All teams crossing the finishing line on each stage will be requested to hand their GPS devices to the designated staff member immediately after crossing the finishing line. Their stage track log will be screened to check whether or not there are any faults to be accounted for. Riders using gps trackers must return them at the finish of the stage to the time keeping company.

In the Algarve Bike Challenge the GPS device is a key piece in the team ́s participation in the race and they have to carry it switched on and logging his motion at all times whilst racing.
If a team refuses or cannot hand over their GPS device to the organisation immediately after crossing the finishing line, the stage will not be validated and will be assigned with the maximum time allowed for that stage.
Close to the finishing line on each stage the organisation will set up a Recovery zone area where competitors will have available several beverages, fresh fruit and snacks. This service is included in the race package.

If any competitor decides to withdraw from the race for whatever reason, they must immediately inform the organisation. This can be done at any CheckPoint or by phone directly to the race coordination office. A special card with important phone numbers will be handed out to all competitors before the start of the race. If a competitor fails to inform the organisation in case of their withdrawal, they will be responsible for the expenses incurred by the organisation due to unnecessary search and rescue operations that will be set up. These costs will have to be supported by the competitor who failed to inform the organisation of his or her withdrawal.

At the end of each stage the organisation provide technical support to participants bicycles if required. In all cases parts and accessories must be paid for by the rider. This service will be available on both official hotels of the race.

Will be available daily massage service. However, there will a limited number of massages possible every day.
Booking for massages will always be subject to availability.

The registration on ALGARVE BIKE CHALLENGE can include accommodation if the premium package is selected. Accommodation will be from 07h to 89th February 2020 in the Vila Galé Albacora or Vila Gale Tavira 4 Star Hotels including breakfast and dinner on February 08th


The race director has the power to disqualify or not allow any participant to start racing if, in the director’s judgment, they configure anyone of the following cases:

* Health related concerns;
*Abusive or premeditated violation of the race rules;
* Unsportsmanlike conduct;
* Suspected ingestion of alcohol or signs of hallucinogenic drugs;
* Disrespect of the local laws, religions or costumes;
* Disrespect for the environment (energy bars wrappers thrown out on the trails are included)
* Disrespect of traffic rules.


The ALGARVE BIKE CHALLENGE 2020 will be won by the team who accumulates the minimum total time at the end of all stages.
There will be a general classification and a classification per category.
The classification will be sorted first by the number of completed stages and then by total time. Those teams not classified in all stages will be sorted primarily by the number of stages, then by number of valid raced kms and finally by the relative time taken.
The organisation will produce 2 sets of classifications each day, one showing the results of that day’s stage and the other showing the General Classification and each category classification after that stage. These classifications will also show penalties and time differences between competitors. For the classifications team’s times will be measured in the units of hours, minutes and seconds.

There will be prizes for the first 3 places in the General Classification.
The main prizes will be:
1st prize – Trophy + 500 euros + Inscription for the ABC2021
2nd prize – Trophy + 350 euros + Inscription for the ABC2021
3rd prize – Trophy + 250 euros + Inscription for the ABC2021

Winner Team from the 1st Stage will be awarded with trophy plus entries for other events with partnership with the Algarve Bike Challenge.

Winner Team from the 2nd Stage will be awarded with trophy plus entries for other events with partnership with the Algarve Bike Challenge.

All teams competing will receive:

– A race pack
– The GPS tracks for all stages.
– 2 Feed Zones per stage.

– One recovery drink zone per stage at the finish.
– An official jersey and a sports bag of the ALGARVE BIKE CHALLENGE.

– Exclusive race Insurance


The jury will also decide, if necessary, on all issues that are not addressed by the present

document or on all misunderstandings that this document may create. Furthermore, the jury is empowered to decide upon the application of penalties related to issues that are not properly covered by this document.
These Race Rules may be altered without previous warning if omissions, errors or text leading to misinterpretations are posteriorly found.