The Barry Roubaix map and elevation profile.

The Barry Roubaix map and elevation profile.

HASTINGS, MICHIGAN–This weekend, Cyclocross Magazine is heading north to Hastings, Michigan, for the Barry-Roubaix. Registration has closed with a total head count at 2873 racers—not bad for a gravel race! Michigan’s 2013 cycling race season kicks off the year with the Killer Gravel Road Race—like the classic it’s named after, Barry-Roubaix will test riders against rolling gravel roads (80%), pavement, one mile of rough two track, rocks, sand, mud, and possibly snow and ice, along with 2200 feet of climbing over its 35 mile loop.

Cyclocross Magazine’s Issue 20 is heading to the printer just in time: the issue will feature a full section on gravel racing in the US, from the glory of the road to the bikes that you ride for the races. We also recently covered Southern Cross, a similar race in Dahlonega, Georgia, where temperatures were a bit higher than the predictions for Hastings this weekend.

According to Barry-Roubaix’s promoters earlier in the season, “The course will be determined according to conditions just prior to the race start. Course marshals will NOT be at every corner or intersection, rules of the road apply!”

And as of yesterday, they made good on their course changing promise as a last minute snowstorm forced a change for riders’ safety: “Sager and Shaw two-tracks will be re-routed for the race due to severe icy conditions. We don’t anticipate these sections to thaw by Saturday. We know most of you will be happy and some will be disappointed but from a liability and safety stand point it makes sense. There is no need to cause trouble for emergency personnel and several broken collar bones when the other parts of the course will be very challenging in this weather.”

Last years podium was comprised of Mike Anderson (first), cyclocrosser Brian Matter (second) and Nathaniel Williams (third). This year, 2012’s fourth place finisher, cyclocrosser and Cycle-Smart coach Shawn Adams will be gunning for the win, but the dark horse is clearly New England’s Justin Lindine (Redline), who has spent the past few months training in the bitter cold and snowy conditions of Massachusetts, and is hunting the win on his Redline Carbon Conquest.

A classic road/off road race featuring a variety of terrain and surfaces, cyclocross, mountain, road, single-speed, fixed gear, fatbikes and tandem bicycles are welcome in any category.

Stay tuned as we not only cover the race on Saturday, but take a look at some of the bikes, wheels, components and tires that racers elect to use for 62 unpredictable miles.