Crested Butte, with its long history of mountain bike racing, is the perfect venue to host the inaugural Fat Bike World Championships. A full weekend of festivities are planned around the town, making it more than just a race weekend, and worth the trip even if you're not into the on-snow competition. The events kick off on January 28th, with the World Championship race itself taking place on Saturday January 30th. As Fat Biking has really taken off, the organizers are hoping for a strong turnout and a competitive race weekend. At Panaracer, we’re really excited to see more people riding bikes year round. From its origins in the Midwest, Fat Biking is now a national sport, and worthy of a well organized weekend of racing. Crested Butte lays claim to the oldest MTB race in the nation with the Fat Tire 40, held each year in the summer. That tradition of awesome racing should pay off big time at the end of January.
The World's course accesses some brand new terrain for Fat Bikes. Better known to Nordic Skiers, the six mile lap starts in town and crosses the valley with huge views of Mount Crested Butte, and also the wider Elk Mountain Range to the north. Riders will start on wide-open trails with plenty of passing, before the course narrows as it approaches the foot of Mount CB. The climb onto the lower flanks of the mountain is likely to be the separator in the race, but with five laps of racing (for Elites, three for mere mortals), there will be plenty of time for riders to get spread out.
From the Panaracer line up, the Fat B Nimble in its 26 x 4 inch form will be choice tire for the weekend. The amazing snow that attracts skier to Crested Butte will also be a big challenge for the racers. Powder will be likely, if not quite guaranteed. That uncertainty of conditions will mean that tire pressure is going to be a hot topic. The course will be groomed before the race, and the cold overnight temperatures in Crested Butte should keep the course soft throughout the racing. With significant climbing on each lap, the low rolling weight of the Fat B Nimble will be a big advantage come race day.