Tough races deserve beautiful names. La Doyenne. La Grande Boucle. La Foglie Morte. The Boyne Marathon Challenge deserves one, too. Meet La Race de Démons. 

Boyne is home to some world class trails and one of the toughest mountain bike climbs in the state, the Grinder. The Catamount climb at Big M is comparable, but the length of the Grinder is unrivaled in the Mitten. No trail system can boast of a climb quite this tough. The compressed version of the ascent is 1 mile long at 5.3%, and you can check out the details from Strava right here.  It is, quite frankly, a bastard. Einstein Racing wunderkid Jorden Wakeley is the current KOM holder with a time of six minutes and twenty-one seconds. Don’t be fooled. This will take you ten minutes, at least. And that’s on the first lap. If you’re riding Expert or Elite, that final trip up will rip your soul from your body and crush all the dreams you’ve ever had, even those not even remotely related to bike riding. Remember that warning.

La creme de la crop will be on hand with some serious Top Banana Points on offer. It’s likely the most stacked race since May’s Mud, Sweat and Beers all-star showing. A 1.0 race worth 20 points for first means winners of the Boyne event will have an extra rash of points heading into the final road race of the season, the Cherry-Roubaix. For dirt gents like Jorden Wakeley, Chad Wells, John Cowan and Alex Gonzalez, the race is a bit of a buffer, as they won’t pick up any points in August. The Men’s battle is tight, with Wakeley looking to start a big push for the fall campaign, made all the easier with a solid result at Boyne. He’s been to the mountain to scout out the course, and it’s an event he’s won in the past, including just last season. The North Country Cycle Sport boys will be on form at what is essentially a home race for them, and they have Banana ambitions for the fall themselves. They’ll have to contend with a Wakeley supported by Einstein Racing teammate Ty Schmidt, also known as “Johanna’s Waterboy.”

“The Queen Mum” herself will be on hand targeting the points on offer to pad a lead that will be tough to defend. Though she’ll be on hand for the Cherry-Roubaix Road Race, Johanna Schmidt will be embattled by top challengers at every stop from here till the Iceman. If she has hopes of winning the coveted $1.87 bunch of Bananas, she’ll need to claw out every point she can heading into a Murder’s Row of races come September and October. Susan Vigland, Julie Whalen, Amy Stauffer, and Kathy Everts are all still in with a shout and plenty of points still available on the season.

In addition to the Top Banana Points, the highest finishing kolo t.c. fan (you can ‘Like’ kolo t.c. on Facebook here) will receive a six-pack of Short’s Brewery’s finest, a Short’s t-shirt, a kolo t.c. sticker (hey, it’s a low budget operation here) plus a high-five from Wes Sovis valued at $1.6 million. You don’t get palm like that everyday. Some restrictions apply. Like if your name is Jorden Wakeley. We will just give him some beer and someone else gets to be the ‘winner’.

Make sure you set your alarm bright and early this Saturday, July 14 and get the Boyne Mountain bright and early for another wonderful Fun Promotions, LLC. event. Brent better give me an extra free Hammer gel.