Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

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dantelman
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Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

Post by dantelman » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:56 pm

New event just announced from the KMC Promoter:
Natchaug Epic, USAC sanctioned, 100 km distance, 13 gravel sectors (20.4 miles)
Located in Connecticut Quiet Corner.

In addition to the men's open and women's open they have team events:
4-man epic team (Trophy)
3-woman epic team (Trophy)
Co-ed epic team (must have at least one female rider) (Trophy)

Team scoring is by cumulative time (I.e. it is not Team Time Trial style) although you could certainly race it that way.
All team participants get extra beer tickets.

I have not seen course yet, but given the distance on pavement and having ridden these roads with KT, it is likely possible to do this on a road bike with 28C tires.

Not sure if MRC will subsidize the team entries, but it would be a nice way to get people to commit.

Use the thread below to assemble teams?

Erik Boos, since this is right in your back yard, I assume you're in?
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dantelman
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Re: Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

Post by dantelman » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:58 pm

BTW, they did not state that team members have to be on the same USAC team, therefore you can bring in a ringer, like Patrick :)
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KTeves
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Re: Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

Post by KTeves » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:11 am

Team gravel race . . . interesting!
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eboos
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Re: Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

Post by eboos » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:32 am

dantelman wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:56 pm
Erik Boos, since this is right in your back yard, I assume you're in?
Saw the email this morning, and it will not interfere with Chris Hinds which is on the 30th, so... I'm in.

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pace21
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Re: Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

Post by pace21 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:07 pm

Is there a course map? Curiosity mostly...

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Re: Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

Post by eboos » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:27 pm

pace21 wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:07 pm
Is there a course map? Curiosity mostly...
Not that I see yet. Here is the link: https://www.bikereg.com/natchaug-epic

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Re: Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

Post by dantelman » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:52 pm

No map, but from one of the photos I recognized one trail that KT and I rode, which is not really a dirt road, it's a class 4 and can be flooded. Road sign says "travel at your own risk past this point" lol... that section will be one spot where it's dicey with skinny tires.
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Re: Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

Post by Ertcycling » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:19 pm

That is right in my back yard as well. I will be there and so will a few of the local guys from that area. Should be a good time. Is some course recon in order? I can put together a ride with some friends and check it out. I now a great place for a post ride coffee or brew.
dantelman wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:56 pm
New event just announced from the KMC Promoter:
Natchaug Epic, USAC sanctioned, 100 km distance, 13 gravel sectors (20.4 miles)
Located in Connecticut Quiet Corner.

In addition to the men's open and women's open they have team events:
4-man epic team (Trophy)
3-woman epic team (Trophy)
Co-ed epic team (must have at least one female rider) (Trophy)

Team scoring is by cumulative time (I.e. it is not Team Time Trial style) although you could certainly race it that way.
All team participants get extra beer tickets.

I have not seen course yet, but given the distance on pavement and having ridden these roads with KT, it is likely possible to do this on a road bike with 28C tires.

Not sure if MRC will subsidize the team entries, but it would be a nice way to get people to commit.

Use the thread below to assemble teams?

Erik Boos, since this is right in your back yard, I assume you're in?

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Re: Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

Post by Ertcycling » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:56 pm

I talked to the course designer who is a cat 1 cross racer and this is what he had to say about the route regarding bike selection. I could ask about setting up a recon ride if you wish.
"You’ll want your cross bike with the fattest tires you can fit. Trust me. Not a road bike course." "You could, but I wouldn’t. Especially if it’s wet or spring mud. There is over 20 miles of dirt. One section is 8 miles long. Flats are an issue on skinny tires."

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Re: Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

Post by dantelman » Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:16 pm

Ertcycling wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:56 pm
I talked to the course designer who is a cat 1 cross racer and this is what he had to say about the route regarding bike selection. I could ask about setting up a recon ride if you wish.
"You’ll want your cross bike with the fattest tires you can fit. Trust me. Not a road bike course." "You could, but I wouldn’t. Especially if it’s wet or spring mud. There is over 20 miles of dirt. One section is 8 miles long. Flats are an issue on skinny tires."
Will be curious to see the route when it's available. KT and I did ride a ~60 mile route that was part of the KMC gravel Fondo. We did it on road bikes. But riding and racing are two different animals. You will ride more confidently on the gravel with a CX bike, but for the ~40 miles of pavement, a lot of it with climbing, your CX bike will slow you down.
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Re: Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

Post by Ertcycling » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:28 pm

I am taking this guys suggestion, me and his son (professional cyclocross racer) ride down there all the time on our road bikes on things no road bike belongs on but if he says this is too much I guess I will spin my 40t one by 10 like a mad man. Perhaps we should have ourselves a course recon. How is Sunday am? I will procure course details if I can and bring along some one who knows the area even better if I can.

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Re: Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

Post by KTeves » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:41 pm

dantelman wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:16 pm
KT and I did ride a ~60 mile route that was part of the KMC gravel Fondo. We did it on road bikes.
correction: I was on my CX bike with 33 mm Clement MXP's which was perfectly fine, but we don't know how the roads on this route compare. Reagardless for me as I'll be riding the MXP's as I always do.
KT

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Re: Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

Post by dantelman » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:49 pm

Memory fades quickly. KT was on his CX bike, I rode my racing bike with 25 or 28c (cannot remember any longer). It all depends on the condition of the roads, if it is wet then definitely a CX bike with gravel tires. We rode the day after a rain storm and the dirt roads get washed out, channels, large rocks etc. There is one relatively long section of dirt we did that also had mud and standing water. Ir was dicey on a road bike. I did not flat though.

Other issues is the descents. Those would be trick on a RB with rim brakes. I did it but again we were riding, not racing.

I am guessing that many of these gravel sections are the same ones they used in the KMC gravel fondo a couple years ago.
Once this race goes off many Strava segments will be shattered, including Pulpit Rock Rd.
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Re: Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

Post by keycycles » Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:25 pm

I rode the first 18 miles today, 4 dirt sections. No real issues on 30mm mavic allroad tires.1st section was 200m and lots of 6'+ pot holes, 2nd dirt section was longer and manageable, at race speed we'll need to pay attention. The third was choppy in the beginning with the 2nd half like peanut butter. Thinner tires will sink. The 4th was the longest, maybe a mile, kind of soft with tire ruts the entire way. The 30 mm rolled well and depending on the weather this week it could be dry and firm, if it rains on Sunday bring your paddles, lots of ruts from running water.

Here's the route, I may do the last 20 miles lated in the week.I live about 30 minutes away.
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29109669

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Re: Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

Post by Ertcycling » Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:41 pm

I had the chance to do the full recon Sunday but I found out too late but suffice to say, my friends bike is unrecognizable under all the mud.

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Re: Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

Post by Ertcycling » Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:03 pm

What a day. I will certainly do that again.

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Re: Natchaug Epic Gravel Race- Thompson CT 3/31/19

Post by dantelman » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:21 am

We did this course the weekend after the event. Great course! My only negative would be "there's too much pavement" but there are only so many gravel roads in that area. To get a higher % gravel the ride would need to move farther West and could not start/finish in Thompson. I think Richard is trying to maintain his relationship with the speedway owners.
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