From the same people that bring you Dirty Kanza & Leadville 100, Life Time is expanding gravel racing a few hours southeast into Arkansas with their inaugural Big Sugar-NWA Gravel Race next fall. The all-new gravel event is set to coincide with the mega consumer bike test event Outerbike at the increasingly-popular cycling & trail destination of Bentonville, AR. This looks like one not to miss.
Big Sugar-NWA Gravel Race in Bentonville, AR Oct 24, 2020
The Big Sugar is athletic resort operator & race promoter Life Time‘s first all-new race after having taken over running the multi-event Leadville Race Series and more recently the big daddy of gravel, the Dirty Kanza. With the continued growth & turnout to the DK200 (and now the 350mi DKXL), there is a voracious appetite for more gravel racing, whether you are trying to crush some gravel, set a new course record, or just ride gravel away from traffic.
The new Big Sugar promises a mix of gravel riding over varied terrain with chunky steep climbs & some water crossings thrown in to keep things interesting. The new race is likely to be a bit more manageable than the DK, with two ride lengths on offer in the Ozarks – the 107 mile Big Sugar with 9,000′ of climbing, and the 49 mile Little Sugar with 4,500′ of elevation to tackle. Either one should leave you enough gas in the tank for the rest of the weekend to test out some other new bikes on the roads & trails around Bentonville together with the Outerbike event
Set to head off one Saturday morning, next October 24, 2020 – it’s about time now to start planning and see if you can get one of the coveted spots at the start line. Limited to only 800 riders next year, registration for the Big Sugar will go live two weeks from now on Nov. 15.
“Bentonville has become a hub for cycling” says president of Life Time’s events team Kimo Seymour, “but it doesn’t yet have an iconic gravel race. We’re really excited to bring the same Leadville and Dirty Kanza feel here to Bentonville and produce a life-enriching event that welcomes every rider, from beginner to experienced.” The organizer is bringing together both their experienced off-road race crew with Bentonville locals Nat Ross & Gabbi Adams to create a new event that looks to cement itself as a mainstay on the gravel racing calendar. We look forward to seeing how it flushes out, and you’ll likely find some of the Bikerumor team on the start line next autumn.