2014 Fat Tire Classic

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May 2, 2014 By Christopher Moore

Cross country mountain bike racing returned to Connecticut this past weekend for another event in the Root 66 Mountain Bike Race Series. The Fat Tire Classic Mountain Bike Race, hosted by Winding Trails in Farmington, drew just under 400 racers from all over New England for the third event of the sixteen race series. The 2014 racing season kicked off two weeks ago at the Hop Brook Dam Mountain Bike Race in Middlebury. After a stop in Taunton, Massachusetts on April 19th the growing race community re-converged in Farmington on Sunday. Connecticut will be hosting a total of four Root 66 races this year.

Sunday’s race was the 20th annual edition of the Fat Tire Classic (a fact that some veteran racers who had competed in the event’s first few editions found mildly disturbing). As those who have been around since its inception know, the event and the race course have remained largely the same throughout that time. “We keep adding on little bits every year” says Winding Trails Executive Director Scott Brown of the Fat Tire Classic course. Known for its fast, “flowy” nature the route is universally praised by competitors. “It’s a fun course” says Paul Nyberg, a Category 1 racer from Goshen who, like almost all other riders, then goes on to note that it is also exhausting. Winding Trails is a cross country ski area during the winter months and the mountain bike course is made up of single track sections that wind their way through the woods in between the wide cross country ski trails. Because it lacks any significant technical obstacles or downhill sections the course forces riders to be constantly “on the gas” with little opportunity to stop peddling without the risk of losing a position.

April in Southern New England can serve up almost any type of weather imaginable and past editions of this race have seen it all: hot and dusty, torrential rain and mud, even snow. This year however the weather created almost perfect conditions. The previous day’s rain ended in time for the trails to dry leaving only one notorious section of mud for riders to negotiate. Temperatures were cool with the sun only poking out a few times during the day, ideal conditions that allowed racers to focus solely on the racing at hand.

As in past years the Fat Tire Classic is one of the first non-snow related events of the year hosted at Winding Trails. The venue will also be hosting the annual Summer Triathlon Series this season. In the past Winding Trails has also been the venue for multiple national and regional level Olympic distance triathlons, cyclo-cross and adventure races. Sunday’s event ran like clockwork. No surprise given the amount of combined experience of the Winding Trails staff and Root 66 Series organizers.

For results from this event please click here:


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