After talking a large dump over last year's event in a series of mean-spirited and completely unfair posts, I entered this year's edition of the Tour of Fairbanks. You should too, and here's why:
  1.  The Globe Creek/Wickersham Dome queen stage is back. Boom. List complete. Sign up now. Road race stages in Alaska have a tendency to be multiple laps of the same course. Round and round, with little terrain variance. You know where they're going to hit you, and if you have the strength to follow you can usually respond. Wickersham Dome is different, because it's a 3 hour out-and-back course with constantly changing terrain. The first time I did this stage I remember seeing the Open Class on their return trip, the pack shattered by the strongest Alaskan roadies. Riders were finishing in small groups- 10, 15, 20, 30 minutes or more after the race was won. Even the smaller Masters/Sport pack had finish time gaps over 15 minutes on the shorter Wickersham Dome course. That's a queen stage. Probably not the most fun when you're on the receiving end of the pounding, but it leaves no doubt where you stack up. In the past it was the last stage of the race, the day after the long time trial and shorter road race double. This year they're running it on the penultimate day, with the hope that riders will be fresher to better handle the stresses.
  2. What? That's not enough? OK, the UAF Criterium is a fun course, and hopefully they've worked out the time penalty/bonus part of the discipline.
  3. I haven't seen the course descriptions of the Prologue (I think it will be the same as last year), Time Trial (I have a rough idea of what's in store), and the Sky Ridge Road Race (I'm flying completely blind). Given what I know of the area, it should be challenging and different from anything you'd see in Anchorage. This is the point of racing in Fairbanks- different terrain, different courses, and different competition.
  4. The people that put this on are pretty darn awesome. Without their efforts there would be no road racing in that part of the state, and with the venues they have it would be a shame.
  5. Lodging at UAF is pretty darn cheap (from $38/night), and that puts you within spitting distance of most of the stages.
  6. Chip timing makes you feel all professional 'n' stuff, and getting the chip deposit back helps with gas money for the ride home after you blew all of your disposable income on beer.
  7. Fairbanks ranks among the Top 42 Most Beautiful Cities in Interior Alaska. I'm not sure if that's worth mentioning...
  8. There's a very, very strong chance you'll finish ahead of me.
There you have it. Go sign up now. If you don't have the money, sell plasma or unneeded organs (helps with weight loss). Signing up early allows you more time to fully develop your dreams of standing on top of the podium (or steps on the deck) at the Ken Kunkle Community Center. Signing up early encourages others to sign up as well ("Hell, if that fat-ass can drag his carcass over the mountains, so can I"), filling out fields and increasing the chances that you won't be alone when the man with the hammer starts swinging.

I expect each and every one of you, my loyal Micronesian readers (3 guys in a hut) and those that stumbled on this site while searching for fringe porn, to sign up now and apply whatever peer pressure and cyber-bullying you deem necessary to get everyone you know (and most people you don't) to sign up for this epic stage race.

In the words of Donald Trump, "It will be a major, super-classy race".

Can't argue with that.


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