What on earth would be cooler than a mountain bike stage race in Traverse City? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Someone pony up the money to make this happen.
The hip thing in the world of bike racing is amateur stage racing. The West Michigan Stage Race’s huge success this past spring and on its previous editions. But there is an alarming lack of fat tires events over more than one day. This is a way to change that.
Imagine, if you will, a kolo t.c. with resources, time, help and stacks of cash that would be (insert popular rapper’s name here) jealous. Here’s what you’d get.
The first event is a Prologue. Hit the VASA 25k for a time trial, not unlike the famous Speed of Light ride. Skip Jack Pine for 13 miles of pure, sandy torture at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning. Limit 250 riders. There’s not a lot of parking, and most of the area’s riders use the wonderful TART Trail to get in a good warm-up before taking the start.
The second stage would be Saturday afternoon at the Lake Ann Pathways. Short, 4 mile laps with high speeds and great cornering would be this a blisteringly fast and super fan-friendly venue. Make it a relatively short 15 mile race, force the mashers to, well, mash, and record the time splits as tired bodies slump across the line. No omnium points, or time bonuses, just pure time. No excuses here.
Sunday would be the Queen Stage. You’ve probably ridden the Peak2Peak at Crystal Mountain. Well, you’re doing it again, except more of it. 5 laps for Pros, 4 for Expert, 3 for Sport and 2 for Beginner. Attrition would be the word of the day, and the marathoners, perhaps down on the GC after two short efforts on Saturday, would be in their element. Riders have to be able to do it all to be competitive: time trial and ride technically, sprint and climb, put in short efforts and long ones. This race would be world-famous in three-four years, and would certainly draw Emily Batty’s participation even sooner.
What would YOUR 3 stage, 2 day mountain bike race be like? The rules are simple. Can’t drive more than 40 miles to different venues. Also, Yours Truly gets in free.