Experiences with Trans-Sylvania MTB stage race? How technical/hard/advanced are the trails? How much bike is necessary?

I’m a beginner-intermediate mountain biker in Maryland where (short of the Frederick Watershed) most stuff is pretty mellow.

I’m intrigued by the Trans-Sylvania MTB race but I’m a little scared/intimidated by it because of the “East Coast Rocks” motto. It’s too late to sign up for this year but I’m contemplating next year. This event has been mentioned a few times on this forum but usually the context is about training plans and fitness.

I have a 2021 Trek Top Fuel (before the redesign that made it more trail bikeish) with 115 rear travel and 120 front. If I had infinite money I’d probably go out and get a 150 front/130 rear trail bike but sadly that’s not in the cards financially.

Would I be totally underbiked and overwhelmed at this event? Would it be recommended for very comfortable, advanced MTB riders only?

I’m considering taking a trip up there to ride Tussey Ridge and some other stuff in Rothrock to get a general feeling for the area before I commit to the stage race. Anyone who has done the race before and/or lives nearby, can you recommend routes I should try solo in order to feel out whether I’d be okay doing the stage race? RWGPS links would be ideal! I am thinking of camping somewhere in Rothrock and doing about 3 days of mountain biking.

Have not done the race, but ridden around there a bunch. Top Fuel is more than enough bike. It’s rocky there but no worse than the Frederick watershed—in many ways less technical than the more technical shed trails like iceberg or reanimator (RIP). If you are riding the more technical trails at Patapsco and having fun, you’ll love state college.

From a technical standpoint, I’d rank from most to least: northern Massanutten, Shed, Michaux, Massanutten Western Slope, State College, West of Harrisonburg, Patapsco.

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