In it's 10th year of gravel racing, Prattsburgh, NY hosted nearly 200 racers in the 2017 Prattsburgh Gravel Classic presented by Cyclepath Geneseo.
The race was not only the championship event of the Mudslinger Gravel Series, sponsored by Van Bortel Ford, but it was also the first ever NYSBRA Gravel Racing Championship.
For more photos of the event see the Mudslinger Facebook page and for full results, course maps and an on-bike race video, click here.
2017 NYS Gravel Racing State Champions
Men’s Elite - Dan Timmerman of Park Ave
Women’s Elite Christine Schyrver of Full Moon Vista
Men’s Intermediate - Scott Birdsey of Capital Bicycle Racing Club
Women’s Elite - Anya Bogdanets of The Bike Shop
Junior Boys - Julian Olivieri of Crankskins.com
Junior Girls - Madeline Smith of KMS Cycling
Photo credit: Marnie Soom
MOUNT MORRIS - It’s the year of the comic book hero at The Rock Crit and Gran Fondo. And I’m psyched for it.
As we approach the the 9th edition of gravel racing in Prattsburgh, NY, the Prattsburgh Gravel Classic has become an interesting sample of the evolution of an emerging style of racing. Unlike road races that offer sections of dirt, often ridden on a road bike, Prattsburgh is one of the longest running races in NY to offer a more technical gravel experience where riders began on mountain and cross bikes and now are race gravel specked rigs to fat tire whips and everything in between.
Guest blogger Dave Schneck, a school counselor at Prattsburgh Central School, was at the beginning of that evolution as a member of the original race crew.
The inaugural Prattsburgh gravel race, dubbed "The Rambler," took place in April 2008.
See the results of results from 2008 here.
A couple years earlier during a casual bike ride, Casey and I wondered what it would be like to race on the incredible gravel back roads of Steuben County. We were pair of avid backroad commuters who cycled year-round to work in Prattsburgh, and knew other riders would enjoy the stunning Finger Lakes vistas and country roads free of traffic.
Casey and his crew from Pedaling Productions (Val Berner, Suzanne and Mark Hartman) hatched a plan to create a gravel/backroad race that included area "seasonal" roads that would minimally require the need for a cross bike and that would occasionally tempt one to consider a hard tail.
Casey and the gang liked to mix it up and threw in occasional singletrack surprises. The course included a 50-yard swamp along an abandoned RR track along with a cyclocross-style quad burner across a farm field toward the end of the race, which surprised riders who would later brag about surviving such a muddy tester after 30 + miles of racing.
The signature climb has always and continues to be "THE WALL" on the Hungry Hollow Climb.
This year however riders will also gasp at the formidable climb up Newton Road out of Mitchellsville and white knuckle it down Newton's rocky and rutted backside, surely causing some cyclists to again wonder briefly, as in the early days, if a hardtail might have been a better option.
Whatever the weather or conditions, the Prattsburgh Gravel Classic continues in the spirit of its creators from Pedaling Productions in providing a backroad race with intense challenges, great scenery and small town flair sure to thrill riders of all skill levels and ages.
Tony Sylor is the Founder and President of the LCC and the Race Director of the OANB Team.