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Stacee Goedtel's US Fat Bike Open Recap: Fast & Hilly at Ariens Nordic Center

The 2024 US Fat Bike Open, part of the SnowCrown series, was recently held at a new venue, Ariens Nordic Center. The race day brought sunshine and blue skies to the fast and hilly course. Stacee Goedtel took second place in the Women's Advanced Category and shares her story of racing, dropping a chain, and making it to the podium.

To learn more, visit the Snow Crown series.

Words by Stacee Goedtel. Photos by Mitchell Vincent (Website & Instagram)

Ariens Nordic Center hosted the US Fat Bike Open for the first time this year. Approaching this course race morning left me in awe. Despite the weather’s ups and downs this season Arien’s was able to create a pristine course for fat bikers from all around. With snow making and grooming capabilities we were presented with a 2.7 mile lap and a wide open fast hilly course for this year’s US Open.

The temperature was about 15-17 degrees Fahrenheit with a decent breeze on race day. Just getting out in the cold in your race attire takes discipline. This year I signed up for the advanced women’s category. Got on the bike for a short 10 minutes prior to race start time to stay warm. My goal going into race day first and foremost is always to have fun. Second goal was to grab a podium spot hopefully alongside some of my Broken Spoke Racing teammates. I was happy to hear they increased our category to a five lap race. The longer the better in my mind. As it began it wasn’t long before we were climbing up wide steep double track hills diving into sharp turns with a mix of tracks and slippery fresh powder. It wasn’t long before the heat of racing set in and I found myself hastily wanting to shed as many layers as I could under the bright sun. After the first lap I took off my gloves, unzipped my jacket and settled into the rest of the race working with teammate Brandi McVeigh to stay in the front of the pack.

For each race category at this venue the field of riders tend to spread out due to the fast course and somewhat technical turns and hills. By the end of the second lap unfortunately I dropped my chain and had to replace it while going up a hill. I ran the rest of the hill and hopped back on the bike separated from the front rider. I began passing racers from different categories. We exchanged words of encouragement while pushing up more elevation and diving into sketchy turns.

I was able to secure second place in the women’s advanced category along with Brandi McVeigh in first and Jamie Zarda in third. Both my fellow Broken Spoke riders! My goal has always been to be competitive in the advanced category, so I am thrilled with a podium at this event this year. Even better to have so many people in the Broken Spoke community to race with and spectate.

Highlights outside of my race consisted of a few things. Those who are participating in their first season of fat biking take the top of that list! This race had very different conditions compared to the first race in the Snow Crown Series giving our new fat bikers a completely different taste of winter riding. Their reactions to the difference was exciting. Next would be watching Josh Lasley win a sprint battle for 4th against Aaron Stroebel in men’s advanced category. This was the best finish of the day. Watching Cayden Budd and Casey Hildebrant battle for the top of the podium in the elite men’s race always keeps people around. They stuck with each other each lap. Cayden taking first right at the end with Casey not far behind. Also a shout out to Jenny Youngwerth who took the top spot for the women’s elite category.

The Snow Crown Series has had their work cut out for them planning their races with the weather changes. Having Ariens being a part of this was an amazing addition to help with the unpredictable weather. Thank you to both organizations for all your hard work.




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