Have you ever had any burning questions you’d love to ask the top athletes? Ever wonder what’s in their water, how they train or what keeps them on the top of their game? We’ve all been there from time to time and to tell you the truth, there really are no secret ingredients to making your local super-starts shine brighter than others. It’s called devotion, passion and grit. Of course a structured training plan, decent nutrition, sleep, functional equipment and a number of other things all contribute to their success. But over time, what you’ll come to find out is that the love for the sport is what truly drives us.
Each Field Fact post will pose a simple question to some of Utah’s best cyclists, to get a small glimpse of what contributes to their success. Today I ask the question: If you had to pick one race and one race only to participate in for the rest of your life, what would you pick? (feel free to pick a race that no longer exists, one you haven’t done and have always wanted to do or one that is a part of your standard race season each year)
All answers are direct quotes from each athlete
PCP2P. After last year I can’t really think of why it is my favorite.
GDR. Adventure! Someday when the kidos are a little older I hope to do it.
Okay, for real; Deer Valley and Solitude are my two favorite local races. Both have ripper 1-track that can create distress on chasers. DV is pretty basic from a technical standpoint, but the art of flowing and getting through switchbacks quickly is paramount. Solitude demands a balance of speed and keeping your equipment together.
Nationals– I really liked racing at Fort Lewis College and at Durango Mountain Resort because of the fans. Fans on the east coast also tend to gather in techy DH areas, which makes for good times. Snowmass puts you on the rivet on the UH and DH and generally filters out racers that aren’t fully race-ready.
So my one favorite– Deer Valley national course. 4 notable climbs per lap that are each about 6–8 minutes long. Very fast descending, good crowds, home course.
If I can only do one race each season I am going to make it a doozy and pick the 6 day Andalucia MTB Stage Race in Spain. It was probably one of the most organized and well run races I have ever done in my 10 years of racing (and it was a FIRST year race!!). Plus, heading to Spain for a week or two during the winter months wasn’t half bad either!
I think this race captured me the most out of all the years I have been racing because I always told myself that MTB Stage Racing is something I would never want to do. And little did I know I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only did I come away from that race humbled, I came away knowing how far I can push my mind and body. There is something about reaching beyond what you think your limits are that is so rewarding!
While I don’t feel I have one race that I love specifically I do have a whole series…WORS. Best organized, largest fields, strongest fields and cool ass courses! I’m missing the Midwest racers!
If i did have to pick one it would be the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival (aka the Midwest world championship). A mountain bike is needed but there’s no technical parts too it, but bring legs as you’ll do 40 miles in 2 hours…cool festival, great people, amazing terrain, beautiful area and I’ve the post race activities are a blast!
That is a tough question. We are lucky that we have so many great races so close. One of my favorites that is no longer was the Brian Head Epic. It was a beautiful, fun 100 miler with a little bit of everything.
BC Bike Race. It was the best riding of any race I have done as far as true mountain biking and trail quality. Perfect weather the year we went didn’t hurt either but it’s a cool event.
Tough call.…I really enjoyed 12 hrs of Mesa Verda. It’s probably some of the best, if not the best single track I’ve ever ridden. I felt like a kid in a playground the first time I rode the course. I think I was giggling the whole time… Even after doing numerous laps the course was still fun. Can we get some single track like that in northern Utah?
Ledville 100. The reasons: It is long, epic, at altitude and the most important reason is that it gives you a chance to see all of the other racers on your way back and cheer for them. I have never raced another race where it is an out and back and you have oncoming traffic that is screaming for you not at you.
Second coolest race would have to be Whiskey 50. Cool atmosphere, cool town and cool course.
If it was going to be only one race I would do the Tour Divide… This way I could get an entire season worth of racing in one event. Then there is the risk associated with getting attacked by a mountain lion or grizzly bear. I would have to regrow my beard though… It just wouldn’t be appropriate to traverse the continental divide w/o the beard reminiscent of a gold miner.
The old Lajitas stage race in Lajitas, Texas.
Doesn’t happen any longer, but it was a pilgrimage to west Texas in the 90’s where, as guys looking to “make it” and be come pro could line up and race Tinker, Wiens, JHK, Tilford, and an endless list of pros in the early season under the grand west Texas sky and in shorts.
A long and dusty TT in the desert, a stxc around the old ghost town/country main street setup, then an OG epic 55k loop with through washes, desert sandy twisty single track, up a 400m single pitch “giant” climb (for us Texans) and then back through the canyons to the finish. You stayed in the bunkhouse, ate local food, and unpacked white dust from your clothing and gear for weeks.
Park city point to point is my favorite race so far, but the BC bike race is a dream of mine. I’ve heard the trails in that race are unbeatable, and the challenge of a stage race and that race in particular gets the blood pumping.