Back in 1988 two mountain bikers from Roanoke, Va., decided their home state needed a race. Inspired by burgeoning scene just across the state line in West Virginia, Scott Freday and Paul Economy started the Great Escape—a rugged point-to-point race on Potts Mountain. The small race eventually gained momentum in the mid ’90s, when it was adopted by Kyle Inman’s Virginia State Championship Mountain Bike Series, and went on to host pro riders like Jeremiah Bishop, Chris Eatough, and Sue Haywood.
The race was shelved in 2003, but last week Inman announced it would return to its original location on Sunday, October 3. The 27 miles of singletrack on Potts Mountain—located in the Jefferson National Forest on the ridgeline between Allegheny County and the Barbour’s Creek Wilderness—is not for the faint of heart. There are plenty of steep climbs—including 2,000 feet of gain in the first three miles—and tons of tire-tripping rock gardens. Consequently, the classic Blue Ridge race will be limited to intermediate and expert classes.
More info here.