2023 Fat Chance! at Crystal Mountain Race Preview

UPDATE: The 2023 Fat Chance has been canceled due to lack of snow. The course is located on a golf course and could result in extensive (and expensive) damage. Registered racers will receive a refund. Contact Crystal Mountain for more details.

The 2023 Short’s Brewing Fat Bike Series is back in action on January 28 with stop Numero DUH of the season. The trip to Crystal Mountain is a bit like going home for the Series, which got its true start in the shadow of the ski hill 11 years ago.

11 Years of Fat Biking at Crystal Mountain

We’re hoping a few of the OG racers that were on hand in 2012 make it to Thompsonville this weekend for some well-earned revelry. That first edition of the race was frigid and later iterations of the race have brought a mix of blizzards and heat waves.

Ahead of the 2023 Fat Chance!, there’s an ideal amount of snow and a few more inches in the forecast before race day.

The Course

For the second year, Fat Chance will start and end on the same course as 2022. Located at the Cross-Country Center, the short, circuit-style lap is perfect for spectators, with 360-degree views of the racers in action.

That can make for some tactical racing, but one thing’s for sure: there’s nowhere to hide.

The course is ideal for the time-based, cyclocross-style format. Riders put in as many laps as possible in 90 minutes (or 45 minutes for the Short’s race). Cross the line after 1:30:00 and you’re done, no matter how many laps you’ve put in. It’s a fun, fast and accessible way to race in the winter and, technically, if you make one lap, you finished. (Not that you’d ever think of stopping after one lap to relax and have a Short’s)

Related: The UPDATED 2023 Short’s Brewing Fat Bike Series Standings

The Favorites

After finishing second at Fat & Flurrious, Matt Acker is the top pick heading into Fat Chance!, with Series leader Jorden Wakeley not confirmed to start. Justin Morris will be a podium contender as well, with Ray and Ryan Macko looking to pocket some Series points as well.

In the Women’s Open, Nina Waeschenfelder is the early favorite, though she’ll be looking to pile up as many points as possible in a field that looks with F&F winner Heather Compton on the sidelines. Watch for big rides from Anabel Miller, Arian MacNamara and Stacy Zirkle as they look to move up the Series standings.

In the Men’s Masters, none of the top three are currently on the Fat Chance! start list, but don’t be surprised to see Paul Olson, Jim Jackovatz and Eric Langely lined up. Tim Reicha was the revelation of Fat & Flurrious and he’ll look to put some daylight between himself and fat bike specialist Kris Sands on Saturday.

Show up and podium. There are two women in the Master’s category, which means easy points for Jennifer Donohue and Stacy Laurencelle. (Stacy, you’re signed up for the Open in the Series, race that!). Who will take the third step? Why not you, woman-over-the-age-of-45-not-busy-next-weekend?

Get Committed: Fat Chance! Registration is Open!

Get all the details on the race and sign up before noon on Friday, January 27. Remember, to be eligible to win a Trek Farley 5 and count for the Series points, you need to register for the Series by February 7. $5 of your $20 fee goes straight to NMMBA!

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