Pinkbike Primer: The EWS Heads to Sugarloaf, Maine for the First Time

Aug 17, 2022
by Sarah Moore  

For the third weekend in a row, Enduro World Series racers will be put through their paces on some of North America's finest trails. Round 6 takes place this weekend in Sugarloaf, Maine, a three hour drive almost directly east from last weekend's race in Burke, Vermont.

Here is everything you need to know before racing kicks off at this brand new venue on Saturday.



The Venue



Expect classic East Coast riding, including some brand new hand cut trails for the race. Led by former Olympic mountain biker, Adam Craig, the Sugarloaf trail crew constructed five all-new gravity-fed mountain bike trails during the summer of 2021 ahead of the Enduro World Series, spanning approximately 10 miles and 2000 vertical feet. With continued trail development currently underway, riders can expect new lines and obstacles with another two or three trails added by August 2022.



The Schedule


Round six of the 2022 EWS sees the season continue with riders facing the Pro Stage on Saturday before a full-on day of stages on Sunday.

Thursday, August 18

10:00-12:00 // Shakedown

Friday, August 19

09:00-16:00 // EWS Training

Saturday, August 20

09:00-11:00 // EWS Pro Stage Training
11:30-14:00 // EWS Pro Stage

Sunday, August 21

08:30-16:30 // EWS Race



The Stages



Stage 1 (Pro Stage): Rocklobster - 1.4km / -305m descent

Stage 2: Rookie River - 1.8km / 410m descent & +10m climb

Stage 3: 355 - 4.0km / 760m descent & +10m climb

Stage 4: Jackpot 1.6km / 330m descent

Stage 5: Crusher DH - 2.4km / 500m descent

Stage 6: Rocklobster - 1.4km / 305m descent




The Weather


It looks like riders could be in for some interesting conditions this week in Maine with rain forecast for Wednesday and Thursday before temperatures rise for practice and race day. There's also the potential for thunderstorms come Sunday.

Friday, August 19

Partly sunny, pleasant and warmer // 23°C // 25% probability of precipitation // wind 19km/h

Saturday, August 20

Mostly sunny and warm // 27°C // 8% probability of precipitation // wind 15km/h

Sunday, August 21

Some sun with a thunderstorm; very warm // 29°C // 80% probability of precipitation // wind 9km/h

Weather forecast for Sugarloaf as of Tuesday, August 16 from Accuweather.



What Happened at the Last Round?



Elite Women

1st. Harriet Harnden: 37:12.970
2nd. Morgane Charre: 37:45.370
3rd. Bex Baraona: 37:52.370
4th. Raphaela Richter: 38:01.860
5th. Ella Conolly: 38:02.410
Elite Men

1st. Richie Rude: 32:07.230
2nd. Jack Moir: 32:12.140
3rd. Jesse Melamed: 32:30.620
4th. Matt Walker: 32:44.900
5th. Martin Maes: 32:48.380

U21 Women

1st. Sophie Riva: 40:36.880
2nd. Paz Gallo Fuentes: 41:06.060
3rd. Lauren Bingham: 41:24.580
4th. Lily Boucher: 43:01.710
5th. Justine Henry: 45:15.390
U21 Men

1st. Luke Meier-Smith: 33:10.630
2nd. Ryan Gilchrist: 33:34.440
3rd. Emmett Hancock: 33:39.220
4th. Jake Keller: 33:46.860
5th. Seth Sherlock: 33:58.210



Who is Leading the Overall Standings?











119 Comments

  • 122 3
 They must be stoked for the Maine Event
  • 28 7
 I'm looking forward to the grand Finale.
  • 4 21
flag Notmeatall (Aug 17, 2022 at 6:42) (Below Threshold)
 They must enduro the expectations first.
  • 59 3
 Should be a Bangor
  • 25 2
 @ceecee: Bangor? Just met'r
  • 18 0
 @club-roost: I'm riding this event as a privateer. Kennebunk with any of you?
  • 9 0
 Lobsta rain in the forecast!
  • 32 0
 It’s cool to see the East Coast get some love and attention on the world level between DH and EWS this season. I’m in the Rockies now, but learned to ride on East Coast jank. For all my friends back there, hopefully this attention will bring some more investment into more trails as there are so many areas with great potential.
  • 14 1
 I'm in Colorado and after watching BikeTown I think this really highlights how piss-poor the growth in the state has been on improving and developing mountain bike infrastructure, especially on the Front Range. They are making leeway but the trails are not keeping up with the population boom and they have really fallen behind most other places, which is a same because there is no shortage of real estate to build some really killer stuff. Props to VT and ME for having a vision and following through.
  • 12 0
 @poleczechy: Tom Hoby is a downright f*ckin criminal using tax payer dollars to fund his own pet projects on the Front Range. He's spent almost $100,000,000 buying property on the Front Range and doing absolutely nothing with it. They've kicked COMBA out of Jefferson County entirely and they refuse to build new trails.

JeffCo open space is one of the most inept public parks and rec divisions in the country. Their budget for 2022 was $53,000,000. Where on earth is that going?
  • 4 0
 @fullendurbro: there's that sweet bike path on Clear Creek. that's a trail, right? Smile
  • 1 0
 @poleczechy: Biketown, where can one find this?
  • 2 0
 @stiksandstones: Freehub just released it on YouTube yesterday
  • 9 0
 I am not familiar with Maine, but Vermont's mountain biking infrastructure is really, really impressive. They have an umbrella arm called VMBA, they have member orgs in every small town with a trail system. They work the legislature, they raise funds for projects, they work with local land owners, etc, etc. A true model for mtb advocacy.
  • 3 0
 @fullendurbro: sounds like a right c*nt lol
  • 5 0
 @poleczechy: Live in CO, visiting PNW (Seattle/Bellingham) for 3 weeks right now - it's insane how many mountain-bike-specific trail areas this state has, especially around the big population centers.
  • 8 0
 @fullendurbro: Not disagreeing about Tom Hoby, but JCOS is not your typical "parks and rec division" they have a very broad mission, but I hear you about their lack of good trail development. At least they allow bikes on many/most trails.
Denver Parks and Rec/Denver Mountain Parks on the other hand, which I believe owns more land in JeffCo than JCOS even, has only like 6 miles of bike trails in mountain parks, and most of that is on 2 trails (Dedisse and Bear Creek) They are having a public meeting soon, attend and tell Denver to build user specific mountain bike trails in their unmitigated wildfire hot spots, aka undeveloped mountain parks: denvergov-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_DTSPUkatSRuQfEM6MiEi1g
  • 2 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: Sounds like what WA state has with EMBA. It's great.
  • 3 0
 @poleczechy: same story in Utah. 12,000’ peaks immediately adjacent to a major population area and nothing but a very limited number of low elevation trails built into the least sustainable ecological areas. It’s disappointing.
  • 32 0
 Matthew Fairbrother rode his bike from Burke to Sugarloaf on the 15th. He's already taking in the scene. Legend status.
  • 14 0
 If they want it can be EWS in Portugal...good trails, beautiful landscapes, delicious food, cheap drinks, great heavymetal....all in a package....
  • 3 0
 What sub-genres of metal are happening in Porto?
  • 6 0
 Intrigued, I'm Googling Portuguese heavy metal bands for the rest of the day
  • 1 0
 @BenLow2019: I listen to The HU the other day. Mongolian throat thrash metal. Niche x 100.
  • 3 0
 @AndrewFleming: I had a hard time getting into them - maybe I shouldn't have watched their music videos. I heard of them during a random interview that popped up about a world famous Turkish author who listens exclusively to extreme metal whiel she writes.She mentioned them along with some Viking metal
  • 5 0
 @suspended-flesh: I can say I'm not a big fan either, but they are my favorite Mongolian throat thrash metal band as of now.
  • 1 0
 I’m sure they would welcome someone who wants to organise one
  • 1 0
 @ricardojorgefonseca , we've got everything but the money.
  • 1 0
 @nozes: thats the true.....I AM ok because I was bien and ride here.... heheheh
  • 2 0
 @AndrewFleming: the Hu its inspirational RAW rockmetal.... ROCKON
  • 1 0
 @ricardojorgefonseca:
Check out “Huun Hur Tu”, Tuvan folk but really good. I like more than The Hu. It’d be awesome to see Moonspell live I bet. youtu.be/Ff54AQaDGbs
  • 10 0
 Lets go. Racing is sick this year.
  • 8 0
 This video shows some of the on mountain trails. Definitely not a bike park, yet...
www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEsmKLfIM3s&t=150s
  • 8 1
 I need to visit the East Coast it appears. I guess being in Colorado, we assume anything east of Denver is flat.
  • 28 0
 To be fair, after Colorado it is a couple thousand miles of flat before mountains exist again
  • 11 0
 Appalachia from south to north has some pretty amazing trails that can be insanely steep and janky. As someone from the stereotypical flat part of the "east of the Rockies" area it is really fun to ride, especially with the lower elevations allowing me to actually climb things.
  • 5 3
 In Missouri at Shepherd Mtn. in Ironton, we only have about 600ft of vert, but it's the gnarliest 600ft in America. It's our "Little Angry Mountain" according to the Yeti race report. But to get that kind of gnar the next closest place is Windrock. (A few spots in Arky have more vert, but the trails are a lot more polished)
  • 7 0
 @ksilvey10: I need to get over there, some of the locals have been and said its awesome. I am in Chicagoland so its not a far drive. I just got back from central TN Sunday. Didn't have time for a day at the bike park at Windrock but I did hit up Windrock XC one morning. Nothing "XC" about it. A proper enduro training zone, 1700 vert in 8.5 miles pedaled, walked a ton of above my pay grade stuff and rode things that we just don't have anywhere near home. So much fun.
  • 6 12
flag PHeller (Aug 17, 2022 at 8:12) (Below Threshold)
 If you're into riding resorts and old ski areas on private land and paying to do so, then the East Coast has plenty of spots. If you want to ride mountains for free, the west is better.
  • 7 0
 @PHeller: you’ve not been on Trailforks lately?
  • 7 0
 @PHeller: that is some fake f*cking news. We may not have as many backcountry epics (some places are working on it), but there's plenty of great trail systems that are free to use.
  • 4 0
 @PHeller: Travel much? Do some research and see how wrong you are.
  • 2 0
 I lived on the east coast for most of my life.

The access to big mountain riding just wasn't there. It existed, yes, but many of the larger cities were hours away from the large mountains, and in most cases, those mountains were privately owned.

The only areas I can think of with public vert were down around Asheville or Boone, and up in Adirondacks or Vermont.

Again, this is strictly looking at areas with real mountains. If you're into XC, that might be different. I'm willing to be proven wrong. Show me a large mountain, with significant vertical descent (-1500) with public access.
  • 1 0
 I did a little research to prove myself wrong:

I found a few trails in my home state of PA with more than 1250' descent, but that are true "mostly downhill" trails. Examples are Mountain Streams (1400-5.2 miles), Ross Trail (1330'-2 miles), Sugarloaf Trail (1226'-4.8 miles).

In Vermont I can find a few in Bennington, Magic Mountain, Willoughby State Forest (most around 1300' and 2-3 miles long). There are also a few within ski resort areas, but they aren't free.

Finally, a quick sweep of Maine doesn't show much besides Sugarloaf Resort.
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: I've lived north of Atlanta for a few years. In the north GA mountains there are a few options. Windy Gap is 1,860 feet vertical drop, gnarly single track up top, fast double track at the bottom - easy to shuttle. Pinhoti 3 has 700 feet of vert drop, all singletrack - easy to shuttle. Bear Creek has 870 feet vert drop. In Pisgah NC, Middle Black to Lower Black has 1,059 feet vert drop, all singletrack. Just a few local examples, all free to ride.
  • 2 0
 @AndrewFleming: how close are those places to the major metro area?
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: The 3 I listed for GA are appox. 1.5 hr drive from the center of Atlanta. That Pisgah example is 40 minutes from the Asheville (not really a major metro area but not a small town either).
  • 2 0
 @PHeller: Pilot Rock is 1600ft, Avery from Upper Upper black is 1500ft, Bennett (last downhill no climbs) is 1000ft, Black from Turkey Pen through Lower is 1800ft. Pisgah has the vert. And it only costs some leg power.
  • 1 0
 @pisgahgnar: how long are those runs?
  • 2 0
 @PHeller: Windy Gap 5 miles, Pinhoti 3 6+ miles, Bear Creek 5+ miles
  • 2 0
 @PHeller: pilot is 2.2 miles. Avery is 2.2, Bennett 1.3, that black run from turkey pen is 4.8 miles. There’s a lot more out here too. Putting together a 6k+ day is no issue. Shuttling from the blue ridge parkway down pilot, through all of black gets you more than 4000 ft of descending with only minor climbing in the middle.
  • 2 0
 @PHeller: NH too. Some decent vertical in the North Conway area.
  • 1 0
 It’s good riding, but don’t crash. All we have are extremely dense forests and f*ck you amounts of granite, which from experience I can tell you is not a soft landing at all
  • 1 0
 @C4L3B: Sounds like a similar situation to home, but with more vert
  • 6 0
 This place looks very nice and the picture is very appealing. Always nice to discover new venues.
  • 6 0
 If Adam Craig is involved, you know it’s going to be good.
  • 4 0
 Always good to see new venues. It’s a short course, only 12.6km of racing, this will be tight
  • 8 0
 Not so sure - stage 3 drops 760 metres... Definitely a decent descent!
  • 2 0
 @mexicanoportugal:
I m surprised on the vertical drops. It seems like a lot of that small mountain.
  • 11 0
 @redmountaingoat: Sugarloaf has 2,820 feet (860 m) of vertical drop. Second biggest vertical drop on the east coast after Killington.
  • 1 0
 @AndrewFleming: doesn't Whiteface have over 1000m? Or maybe that's only for skiing, not for mtb.
  • 2 0
 @bkm303: they don’t bike at whiteface anymore
  • 2 0
 @bkm303: Wikipedia tells me that Whiteface has lift-access vertical drop of 3,166 ft (965 m) and more if you hike up higher, so yea that's more than Sugarloaf. Gotta watch what I read on the internet!
  • 2 0
 @AndrewFleming: I think it’s white face actually.
3216’. With 3600 if you hike. I’ve always been impressed by this. Sugarloaf is third.
  • 3 0
 @AndrewFleming: Killington's vert is a lie though. They just have a lodge thats placed really low to fudge the numbers. The biggest usable vert at Kton is around 1700'. And whiteface is taller and their numbers are legit top to bottom. Quite a few places have more usable vert on the east than Kton
  • 4 0
 Some of North America's finest trails??
  • 4 1
 Maine, for the uninitiated:

youtu.be/S0atpn4mejs
  • 1 0
 Whoops. My fat fingers neg propped you on accident. These videos are gold. I love the snowmobiling ones.
  • 3 0
 Come on Richie! I need to justify the bike purchase
  • 1 0
 What are they charging festival passes for? I just went to Crankworx for 5 days, no pass required. WTF are they charging for?
  • 6 6
 EWS in Crested Butte… that would be something! Not on the ski mountain, just raw backcountry tracks. CB has plenty of that!
  • 11 0
 There was one up there in 2015- look it up- it was 3 days of racing- lots of backcountry stuff. A racer died due to a crash way out in the Cement Creek area. Tragic.
  • 6 1
 The Texans that run that place would literally never let that happen again.
  • 2 0
 It didn’t go over well. The trails do not lend them self to line choice and are high speed and quite dangerous at race pace. Rip to the racer that passed at the last one.
  • 5 0
 @fullendurbro: for what it’s worth Texas and Oklahomans have been there for 40+ years. We needed them and they liked our town it all worked out, but when the remote work boom happened and people from the front range (boulder) and other cities is n my opinion what has caused it to become a different town now. Also vail and the epic pass.
  • 1 0
 @robway: story of every ski town in the West these days. Same deal out here in Sun Valley, just replace texans with californians
  • 1 0
 @robway: Of course they have been there for a long time, and I've had no problem with their presence, but at some point word got out and housing boomed, a billionaire texas widow came in and literally started snatching up real estate in the town. My first time there 15 years ago, there wasn't a single house in the valley below Mt. Crested Butte. Now there's 12 and counting -- all worth over $8m.

Houses in town used to go for $650k-1M. Just looked at a new build for $6.5m.

The worst part is the cultural shift. I used to be able to finish a 40 mile ride and coast into Montanya distilling covered in mud and feel like I was hanging out with homies who lived in the valley to partake in the lifestyle. Now it feels like all the f*ck boys and instasocial hoes just look at you like you don't belong in their bar while muddy.

I'm not against change and economic growth. I just feel like the valley has undergone and monumental shift and in culture and status.
  • 1 0
 So to complete all 6 stages they will need to get the same chair lift 3 times? Is that right?
  • 2 0
 Chair is for 1, 3, 5, and 6. 2 and 4 are a slog up a gravel access road with some loose/steep climbing. I rode the transfers in prep for doing the EWS80 this weekend they aren't fun/easy but should be better than last weekend at Burke from what I heard.
  • 2 0
 @ruggedmaine: Can you explain how to read this map? Do you do Transfer 1 before or after Stage 1? Why are there two Transfer 2s?

Edit: If the upper Transfer 2 becomes Transfer 3, this all makes a lot more sense.
  • 3 0
 wicked fired up, buzzy.
  • 4 3
 Why do you guys have a picture of Plymouth, NH from 2021 as the main picture??
  • 3 0
 That's Mooselookmeguntic lake. Down the mountain towards the NH border but really close to Sugarbush and on the drive from Burke. Unless they changed it in the last hour?
  • 4 0
 I shot that during the Trans New England last year. It's from Maine, but it's uploaded to the TNE account which was started by Tom Sampson who lived in Plymouth at the time. I just didn't update the location info for that specific photo.
  • 1 0
 @pisgahgnar: Yup. Height of the Land on route 17. Mooselookmeguntic and Rangeley lake area is beautiful.
  • 1 0
 @PEARLiZUMi: Gotcha, just making sure! Cheers
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