Big Sugar is an ultra-endurance gravel cycling grinder challenge held on gravel roads through the Northwest region of Arkansas and the Southeast region of Missouri. The start is in downtown Bentonville, Arkansas, which has become a biking mecca. Big Sugar is produced by Life Time Events, a premier operator of first-tier endurance events, including the Leadville Race Series and Unbound Gravel (AKA Dirty Kanza). The event takes place the same weekend as the Outer Bike Festival, a huge bike demo event.
Expect this to be one of the most challenging gravel courses featuring picturesque, rarely maintained, canopy-covered gravel roads with loose, rocky gravel, a few pavement sections, and a few water crossings and bridges. If you like to ride in the dirt, venture off into stunning landscapes and share an experience with fellow cyclists, Big Sugar Gravel is a race reserved for you. There are two options to choose from: (1) A 100-mile gravel race with 8,000 ft elevation gain in the remote and rugged highlands of the Ozark Mountains: (2) A 50-mile gravel race (Lil Sugar) located in the highlands but designed for recreational cyclists. All riders will utilize a single-loop format, and although some blacktop roads will be necessary from time to time, most of the course will be on gravel and dirt roads. Some roads receive little to no maintenance throughout the year and can be quite primitive. There are also many blind corners while traversing the course.
Make your trip into a weekend getaway. Nestled in the Northwest Corner of Arkansas, Bentonville offers a world-class art scene, a thriving bike culture, aviation adventures, and a vibrant city square right in the heart of the Ozarks.
Life Time recently announced the inaugural Life Time Grand Prix!, which includes Big Sugar. The series feature 6 of the most iconic cycling events and the best cyclists in off-road cycling. The challenge combines mountain biking and gravel riding disciplines. The events are all around the country, including the Sea Otter Classic, UNBOUND Gravel, Crusher in the Tushar, Leadville Trail 100 MTB, Big Sugar Gravel, and Chequamegon MTB. The biggest prize purse in U.S. cycling, $250,000, will be split evenly between men and women. Each series event will be streamed live and on-demand on FloBikes, part of the FloSports network.