The finale of the Northern Michigan Fat Bike Series is on deck this Saturday.
It’s been three long months, but the NMFBS season is drawing to a close this Saturday at Timber Ridge Resort with Fat Camp!. The second edition of the race returns to the campground in Traverse City, but this time has moved to coincide with the Suds’n’Snow Microbrew Festival. The race’s 2 mile course will run next to the event’s beer area and live music stage, putting it in the heart of festivities and in front over well over 1,000 spectators throughout the afternoon.
Racers are gearing up for copious and lubricated support thanks to the dozen or so breweries expected to be on hand. It’s prime time, too, with the temperatures supposed to higher and with the most amount of people in attendance by late afternoon. It could be the most-spectated fat bike race in history, and it’s a great stage for any rider to lay claim to an important victory.
The late reschedule of the race means Jorden Wakeley and Danielle Musto won’t be on hand, but they have other agendas in mind, specifically the Fat Bike Birkie in Wisconsin on the same day. It’ll give other racers a chance to vie for the race win, and likely take the series points as well. It should be one for the locals, with Einstein Racing scrambling to put speed on the line.
Jason Lowetz will spearhead the Einstein charge, with Sean Kickbush riding with a free role. The team’s bid to sweep the podium will rest on Ryan Kushman and Wes Sovis. Sovis makes his first fat bike start since December 1, and he’s expected to read the race alongside Kushman and keep the chasers in check.
Hagerty’s Craig Webb is also expected to start, flanked by Brian Hofstra and Steve Andriese. Webb and Andriese will look to take the 45+ category, but placing overall should come as a point of pride. Hofstra is always a podium threat, and the fast, flat course will make it tactical, which should suit the level-headed Brian Hofstra.
The course itself lacks elevation aside from one slight rise before the finish, with a downhill start that should immediately test the mettle and handling skills of the favorites. That opening descent is straight into the mouth of the Short’s Brewing tent, and the hole shot turn is in front of the other main brewery venues.
The women’s race currently boasts Stacy Smith, Kim Thomas and Heidi Jones. The Master’s races include Webb and David Hintz and Thomas Klaver as the favorites, while Beth Collins has the series all but wrapped up ahead of Karen Wright and Dawn Cluchey. Hintz and Klaver have had amazing seasons already, and capping it with a win or a trip to the podium would be the icing on the cake.