2022 Traverse City Trails Festival Race Preview

This year’s TCTF is marks peak summer in Northern Michigan and continues its run as the unofficial Singletrack World Championship. As is always the case, it’s a tidy but tough Elite field and an absolutely stacked Expert field highlighting what we expect to be a 200+ rider start list.

The TCTF Course

The route this year sees relatively small tweaks to 2021, though there are some important points to watch out for. Overall, the route is faster and smoother, the result of using more regularly ridden trails and some dedicated manicuring on behalf of Tom White and NMMBA. Perhaps most notable is the abbreviated GOREC section, though riders do see gradual but challenging elevation on the other side of the camp.

15-mile racers also get a treat; their route gets straight to singletrack, skipping some of the early and late gravel roads. This makes it a much more ‘true’ singletrack course for that event as well.

Both course files are available for download.

The Favorites

Women’s Elite

The field has just three riders signed up, but it’s a sign of hope that all three are just getting rolling. Emma Schwab, Allison Wekema and Gwen Urbain have tangled at all the local races this season and are set to battle again at TCTF. All three are 21 or under, which is just damn cool.

It’s tough to look past Schwab in the woods, but TCTF is a race that isn’t won so much as it’s lost. Small mistakes, bobbles in the singletrack, and poor positioning can have as much (or more) impact on the final results as legs.

Men’s Elite

Sunset Scott enters as the rider with the most experience and success at the race, but without consistent training. Averaging two rides per week, and one of those pulling a Burley, he has the annoying capacity to go just as fast without riding as he did when he rode five days a week. He’ll be up against another new dad, Justin Morris. The Very Diabetic Australian is a brilliant singletracker and the TCTF fits in nicely as he prepared for the Leadville 100 next month. Imports Gabriel Avis and Ben Shields should also threaten, with Shields one of the most consistent riders of the season.

Local hero Kyan Olshove is signed up but rumor has it he’ll be out of town this weekend. If he stays home, it’s almost impossible to pick against him.

The kolo t.c. Squad

Wes Sovis is in incredible shape this season and should be a contender in Expert race. He’s been putting in big miles since Mud, Sweat and Beers and he’ll be looking to make the most of his fitness in the latter half of the race. He’ll line up with fellow stud Jaden Drews, a rider who has put in plenty of time in the woods this year. Both are contenders for the top 5 in Expert and give kolo t.c. a great 1-2 for the race.

Cody Sovis is signed up, too.

Get Registered

Online registration for the TCTF closes Thursday, but why wait around? Sign up today and we’ll see you on the line July 23. Proceeds from the day support Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association and the entire Traverse City Trail Network.

Remember, you can grab your packet at Wild Card Cycle Works Friday, July 22 between 4 and 6pm, or grab it on race day starting at 7am.

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