So tell us about your A Race for 2019


Track - National masters IP March 2019. State Masters January B race.

Was thinking about doing a Mini blog on here since I ride 4-8 hours a week and my training is all over the shop. Current pace is national gold medal speed.



It’s now official :+1:t3:


On the podcast, @Jonathan mentioned there being more and more "bucket list’ races (epic enduro type races) on the calendar which is seemingly reducing the “regular”/local race calendar events. Has anyone else noticed this?

From a quick & dirty browse though this thread finds most A Races fall into the “epic” category (e.g. Leadville) with a very few “regular” events (e.g. Nationals). Will the new normal be for higher/est calibre amateur athletes to compete in these epic gravel races rather than the traditional events? It would be discouraging to see things like National (or even State) championships lose lustre/prestige but with pro team EF Education First–Drapac p/b Cannondale :neutral_face: announcing their foray into non-trad events, this trend seems to be solidifying.



Hi, I was in the HR Pyrenees this year…we may have bumped into each other!?


Main focus will be MB-Race. 140km, 7,000m climbing in early July.

2nd focus will be the Manx100. 100miles, 5,000m+ climbing in late July.
I’ll also probably do the Manx8, a new 8 hour lap race here on the Isle of Man in mid May as a training event.


Boulder Roubaix
Firecracker 50
Masters Road Nats
Gateway Cup

These are the events I care the most about. Boulder could be a ‘B’ race and Gateway Cup is just a fun way to end the road season, but would like to be peaking for it if it’s not too close to Road Nats.


My “A” race isn’t a race - it’s a week in Mallorca in early June - going to put in as many miles as possible and want to be at peak fitness when I’m doing it.


Little bit. Aside from the expense and time commitment of training for Ironman 70.3 races, this is one of the reasons I don’t have an ‘A’ race next year - I just want to do a lot of local sprint triathlons, and volunteer at them when I’m not racing them.


Doing a few Belgian cyclo cross races between Christmas and New year hoping to have decent form by then, Also doing the Haute route alps 2019


For me in the UK there’s definitely a ring of truth to this. One of the main reasons is that honestly, a lot of the UK “legit” races (British Cycling registered) don’t have that “event” feel. If I’m going to pick an A priority race that will test me to my limit, which am I going to choose - the one that’s in the middle of nowhere, 10 spectators, probably some stuffy commissaires measuring sock length etc, turn up and go home, or one where I go somewhere exciting, great atmosphere, hang out there for a few days before and after maybe with family or friends etc…? I know which one appeals to me more!

There are a few local race organisers trying to make things a bit more interesting and appealing, but honestly some of them seem to grudge people showing up in the first place - definitely nearly put me off when I started racing.


Two for me.

The first isn’t a race but is a huge challenge for me; the British Heart Foundation South Downs Way Ride. 100 miles on the mountain bike with 4,000 metres of ascent. Diesel chugging will be the order of the day.

Then, 2 weeks later I’ll be racing the ‘Ard Rock Enduro up in the Yorkshire Dales. I was battered doing the shorter course last year on my Stanton hardtail, so let’s hope some gym sessions ontop of TR and the stamina from the BHF ride will see me through.


I don’t know about the relative quantities of “epic” vs “race” events, but for me the epic events are more motivating, as I’m not fast enough to ever win a race, so it’s all about the participation and competing against myself. And if I’m going to drive a long distance, or maybe fly, I’d prefer it be for an event that has me on the bike for a long time vs 1-2 hrs.


I’d have to agree that it seems like the epic/enduro/gravel events are much more well organised & operated than almost all local races…it is literally amateur hour after all.

A race provides you the opportunity to race your bike; an epic event provides the same, if you choose, but also things such as a sense of adventure, meeting new people/camaraderie, cool participation swag (usually), etc.

Guess it’s kind of a glory vs adventure scenario; but winning is incredibly hard, and anyone of any skill/fitness level can have an adventure. I still enjoy chasing both! :grin:


This is my A event for 2019:


I’ve ridden at Fruita, and done the Desert Rats race on Kokopelli/Zion Curtain, but not yet ridden the lunch loops. Looks like a good one!


Enjoy! I did last year’s Etape and it was a great experience.

I think I like this profile better. Last year was absolutely brutal due to the four short/steep climbs they chose. I’d rather fewer, longer ones.


Fruita is just awesome. Lunch loops is very different. Less flow, more tech. I used to hate it and now I appreciate it:D

I was actually signed up for the Desert Rats race last year! Too bad I got injured a week before…
Never never do something new the week before a race


Thanks - yes looking forward to it.

i have never cycled in the Alps before so I have lots of things to think about: altitude effects, weather changes, long descents etc. At least the training is something I can control.


It was my first time over there also. Make the most of exploring the area would be my biggest tip!

The very top of Val Thorens is likely the only part which will bring in any major effects of altitude or changing temperatures. We were in nearby Annecy and were lucky/unlucky with the weather. It was a solid 30°C+ all day and the temperature didn’t noticeably drop at the summits (I was comfortably descending without arm warmers or a jacket).

Best of luck and happy training.


I have two. #1 assuming I get a spot is Dirty Kanza 200 with the primary goal being finish and secondary Gila beating the sun.

#2 the 200K Georgia Gravel Grinduro. I did the 100k version and it kicked my butt (5 hours 30 min). Lots of climbing and some pretty tough track with loose rocks. Target will be 12-14 hours I think