USAC announced date and location today, but didn’t provide any info on course, duration, etc.
In Maryland , that sparks my interest in attending.
Mine too, my home state!
Really looking forward to hearing about the course and thinking I may throw this onto the schedule…
Registration is open and course is posted. Bike Reg says 2 laps but that would make this a ~32 mile race… can’t be right?
I’m so cooked for the season. I have an XCO time trial tomorrow as the last race in my local Championship Point Series. I can barely muster the energy/motivation to attend. I’m ready for the off season, I’ve done too much this year.
Too bad because I really wanted to do XCM.
Does anyone live in the area/know the terrain? Like the above poster, for two laps, that’s only ~32 miles…is this terrain extremely slow and techy? Anyone know what should be expected?
I live about an hour-ish away in DC, but haven’t seen the course or trail system first hand. I’m going to try and check it out sometime in the next couple weeks. I’m guessing there’s going to be some tech sections w/ roots and rocks. Here’s the only thing I’ve found on the YouTubes: Biking Bad - Mountain Biking at Gambrill State Park and Fountainhead BROT Bull Run Occoquan Trail - YouTube
Still undecided if I’ll race, will depend on family/work obligations. I’m already registered for the Austin Rattler and don’t know if I can get away with another race weekend
I live in Baltimore and have ridden some of the trails in the area (don’t recall if any are part of the course). What I’ve ridden tended to be technical. Rocks and roots but super fun. From the course file, looks like a good amount of elevation. Generally around here, you get about 1,000 ft of elevation per 10 miles. Good luck!
I rode there many years ago and from what I remember it was pretty rocky and technical. It’s located in the same mountain chain as the Michaux series. The southernmost race, Terror of Teaberry, in that series is about 24 miles away from Gambril. Teaberry is usually between 30 and 34 miles. In 2017, last online results I could find, it was 33 miles. The fastest time was 3:32. Teaberry has a hike a bike section which may add to the time but if Gambril has the same terrain it’s going to be a slow 32 miles.
I forgot to add that I am so looking forward to this race. I’ve been hoping that we would get Marathon Nationals somewhere close to me for long time.
I was road riding up there last weekend and ALL the bikes i saw people riding as i pass the multiple trailheads had a good bit of travel…no xc fs bikes that i can remember. Not that this is much help, but. If i were going, i use bigger tires and FS.
Had some friends ride the course this morning and they confirmed it is very difficult and technical. 95% trail.
Sounds like a blast!
I’ve been riding Gambrill/The Shed most weekends for about fifteen years. Crazy technical, lots of rocks and roots, surprising amount of climbing.
This would be a great opportunity to be introduced to the area because these trails can be a bit difficult to navigate on one’s own.
For my money the Frederick Watershed is the best singletrack in the country, but if you’re not into rock gardens it may not be your cup of tea.
Tire talk for the course? Thinking 2.35’s…maybe bigger?
On my non-race wheels, I used 2.3 Minon DHF/f and 2.3 Aggressor/r when I pre-rode the course. Probably made the bursty climbs a lot more harder than they needed to be. Thinking of either 2.35 or 2.25 Racing Ray front and 2.25 Racing Ralph in the back…few months ago I rode a couple of the sections of the course on 2.1 Racing Ray and 2.1 Thunderburts on my hardtail…definitely doable but couldn’t really rip it on the descents, but that was more due to the limitations of the HT and the pilot. Not sure if this is meaningful for you, as you usually finish much faster than me. Lol. -Stuart
I clearly need to pre-ride it…I was thinking about 2.6! Lol:)
Rode the course last weekend. A lot of rock gardens, maybe 75 percent I would say. I ride a Top Fuel with 2.25. The course will beat you up if you aren’t used to riding a lot of midatlantic rocks.
The top strava time on a loop that uses significant portions of the race course has the fastest time at only 8mph. If the race winner can maintain 8 mph over 32 miles, they’re going to be pretty fast considering the terrain.
The race loop does skip a few of the harder technical features of the surrounding trails though so some fast guys may be able to rock it, but I still doubt anything faster than 9.
FYI apparently you need a negative covid test within 3 days of the race if you’re planning on attending.
I think it will be well over 9. Some guys I ride with did recon at 8.6 avg on strava
Thoughts on sidewall protection? Something burlier than typical race tires? I am currently torn on choice and have been considering whether the course justifies something like a Spec Ground Control Grid casing or an Exo+ Rekon WT? A bit of a weight penalty but if it’s primarily technical riding with rough conditions, something slower rolling won’t hurt quite as much and might allow for the chunky sections to be taken with a bit more speed and line options.