We’re heading into the home stretch of the first annual Top Banana Competition. Here’s how we storm into the fall. 

The next stop will be the Battle at the ‘Burg on September 8. The first edition of the race is just being finalized, with race organizers putting the final touches on the official loop at Cannonsburg Ski Area. With enough sponsors to field a pro team and prizes to keep everyone pretty happy, it’s going to be a fixture on the Banana schedule for years to come. With a growing field and some big Grand Rapids names sure to show up, this will be a 1.0, 20 point race.

The next stop will be the Crybaby Classic at nub’s nub on September 29. The race has gotten bigger, better and harder every year and 2012 is going to be murder, frankly. More singletrack, more technical sections and the same insane amount of climbing as you’ve come to hate. Some racers have been shying away from this one because it is just so difficult. Sack it up. This is the sort of race you’ll spend all winter moping and regretting having missed it. It’s also a race that’s survived the old Fall Classics schedule for the Competition, with Pando (September 23) being dropped in favor of the Burg. The Crybaby Classic will be a full-on 1.0 race worth 20 points.

The other Classics race to survive is Peak2Peak, taking place on October 13th at Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa. This is a special race as it takes places just 11 miles from kolo t.c. headquarters, and if three people stop for gas in Karlin, boosts that village’s economy by 35% during race weekend. Seriously. This simply has to be a 1.0 race and gets the full 20 point treatment. Jorden Wakeley, Mike Anderson, Chad Wells and John Cowan will battle for the win, joined by the Lion of LeRoy, Alex Vanias, fresh from a summer of racing professionally for BISSELL. 

The last race worth points will be the Iceman Cometh on November 3. Points will be a a bit special for the largest one day mountain bike race in America. Instead of straight 20 points for the Pro class, the haul will be extended to the Top 50 overall. There are quite a few racers riding in age categories of making the Top 50, and for riders like Wakeley, the Schmidts and Susan Vigland, racing in the Pros and finishing well could provide almost double-points-worthy rewards.

Sign up, tell them kolo t.c. sent you, and that these races should lay some cash on Yours Truly. Good luck!