Early-Season XC Racing At The Fat Tire Classic

Apr 29, 2018
by Martin Allen  

The 2018 BUBBA Series got off to a roaring start at the legendary Fat Tire Classic in Farmington, Connecticut. After 20 plus years the Fat Tire Classic at Winding Trails has been a staple of New England mountain biking with it's early season flow track attracting riders from all over to find that early season fitness.

2018 BUBBA Burger Trophy Series - Fat Tire Classic

With a contingent of strong New Englanders at the Sea Otter Classic in California, there was opportunity for those who didn't fly west to grab those crucial early season points and the Athlos Sports leader's jerseys before Round 2 at Bear Brook in New Hampshire

After such a rough winter season in the area, the snow melted just in time, giving way to temperatures in the 60's making for very comfortable and powerful racing conditions for the 500 riders in attendance.

In Pro Men, some of the who's who in the Northeast showed up to battle it out for 2 hours at the Winding Trails course. Neal Burton of Errace Cycling took 1st with Bobby Nash of Team Spark in 2nd and Matthew Green of Bicycle Express Racing in 3rd. The high speeds pack racing was relativity easy to come by and so the final classification came down to a sprint with Burton claiming victory.

Over in Pro Women a new contingent made their mark and let it be known to veteran competitors that they were serious about the Championship. Kelly Catal of State 9 Racing took first with Alecia Faustini and Tira Denny in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

2018 BUBBA Trophy Series Fat Tire Classic

2018 BUBBA Burger Trophy Series - Fat Tire Classic

Round 2 moves to The Bear Brook Classic in Allenstown, NH on May 12th. Presented by Club State 9 Racing, it has become one of the most popular races in the Northeast. The race will feature the Athlos leaders jerseys which while popular in Cyclocross has not been done in XC mountain biking here in the area. In terms of course layout expect leg busting flow track, switch back climbs, rocky descents, A-Line drops and the RedBull flyover.

The 2018 BUBBA Trophy Series is brought to you by BUBBA Burger, Kenda Tire, Redbull, Fox Suspension, Esi Grips, Motorex, Julbo Eyewear, Athlos Sports, Orange Seal, AvPro Worldwide, Forbo Flooring, and Pinkbike.

BUBBA Trophy Series Sponsors


  • + 13
 dunno, that kinda looked like the Sea Otter DH ...
  • + 7
 Xc is not dead! It’s seems to be growing every year slowly. Thanks Mart and Bubba for making such a great series.
  • + 2
 Well, at the race before this at Hop Brook Ritchie Rude raced at Hop Brook. Most amazing riders can and do cross diciplines.
  • + 2
 Best XC series in the US right here, nice work Mart.
  • + 1
 That dude Bobby Nash is faaaasssssssssssssssttttttttttttttttttt
  • + 0
 @Grunk Do you know the difference between opinion and argument?
  • - 2
 XC is dead...like this comment section.
  • + 4
 +Grunk not at all, like cyclocross it has a large number of racers who have been racing longer then you've been alive. Subjective bias and/or confirmation bias because you view XC through the prism of PB comments section points to your ignorance vs looking at bikereg that shows a difference picture. As for XC on PB as long as it portrayed negativity (e.g. not real mt. biking), by complicit editors who then point it lack of readership and ad revenue around XC as dead sport is nothing more self-fulling positive feedback loop. That's why there's only as one World Cup North America including DH. Most promotors aren't going bother to put on a race (like the fact there no national level XC and DH race at Windham NY this year) if site like this is mostly going to ignore their efforts, and number gravity riders are the minority of participants.
  • - 1
 @Shemp: Longevity doesn't equal relevance. Ned Overend and Axl Rose are one in the same.

There isn't a grand conspiracy against XC. Regional differences aside, XC simply doesn't resemble mountain biking overall anymore. The most significant improvements in the past 5-10 years have been bike capability and grassroots trail building. Riders now have "do it all" bikes they can pedal to the top and enjoy a fun descent on a DH optimized trail. Racing (Enduro..as much as I hate the term), MTB media, trail centers (think Bentonville) and bike design all reflect these changes.

To a lot of riders...pedaling uphill on a twitchy bike in spandex just doesn't have a lot of appeal.
  • + 0
 seems like this years bikes are short travel good pedaling platforms. Santa Cruz Blur and Yeti 4.5 type bikes. Enduro bikes (160MM) just aren't fun to pedal up on. 30+ lbs. ain't fun.
  • + 1
 @Grunk: Thats the dumbest thing I've heard. I pedal my XC bike on the same trails as people on trail or enduro bikes. People still ride XC trails, since they compose most of the trails on the country. Just like the ski industry, people tend to buy bikes for the trails they think/wish they ride, not the trails they actually ride.

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