It’s almost here. Get your tissues out. 

The 2012 Crybaby Classic is this Saturday, and there’s nowhere to hide. Some of the very best riders in the state will toe the line at nub’s nub in Harbor Springs on the hilliest race in the Murder Mitten. At 9 miles per circuit and over 1,200 feet of climbing each time around, it’s a constant loop of torture for those brave enough to give it a shot.

In 2011, race organizers Tom Behan and Tom Behan (one’s the dad, one’s the son, I’m not saying which is which) threw in some new, twisty singletrack. If the first edition of the race was a wide open, climbing race with ample moves for big groups to roll, the new trail served as a two mile choke point. Fresh and virgin-cut, the singletrack spelled doom for those unskilled over roots, rocks and mud. It was equally decisive as the infamous Crybaby Climb, something that certainly raised eyebrows at the end of the day.

The course is much the same in 2012. For those salivating over the singletrack, it’s still there. And all that elevation gain is waiting to me ascended. Maybe the most important aspect of the race in this edition is familiarity for the first time; with a course the same as last year, those with some time and some practice will have better lines and know how to gauge their efforts.

The Elite Men and Women will also be battling for 1.0-level Top Banana Competition. Mike Anderson, the defending champion, will renew his year-long battle with Jorden Wakeley as the BISSELL duo of Derek Graham and Alex Vanias will be gunning for the win. Johanna Schmidt will look defend her league, armed with teammate Amanda Ryan against all comers.

Here’s Chris Fisher’s (yes, that Chris Fisher*) Strava information from the course this past week. Note: He was also bounding over five down trees on the course that should be cleared up by race day.

Don’t forget: If you’ve got a Strava and race Crybaby, we’re having our own Crybaby Climb competition. Person with the fastest time at the race, on race day this year (last year or training rides don’t count), gets something. May or may not be some beer from Short’s. No idea.

Also, check our Facebook poll Thursday and vote for who’d you like to see ride with the infamous Short’s Brewery kolo kam. Can’t vote for Johanna Schmidt, she already wrecked one.

*Fisher’s Appellation is now ‘Squach’ because he’s tall, somewhat hairy, lives in the woods and only the nutcases at Tuesday Night Worlds ever see him.