Ventured to the national course yesterday with my girls for a ride. Marshall and company are busy dialing in the course. A lot more hilly than I thought it would be, no flat sections to recover much except for the start/finish road. just wondering what type of gearing everyone else is planning on using as my girls seem to be a bit "overgeared"
Given the addition of that extra "kicker" at the top and the fact that much of the course is going to be soupy/sloppy, I'd make as low a gear as possible available to them. I have a low of 36x28 available, which is pretty typical for dual chainring set ups. Depending on the bolt circle of their cranks, at 34t front option may exist.
Probably the best indicator of which way to go was a comment made to me on Sunday by one of our local riders who'll be contending for a jersey who mentioned that he was going to spend Sunday evening putting smaller chainrings on his geared bikes and dramatically dropping the gearing on his singlespeed.
I use a 42/36 front, 11-28T rear. I'm an old dude and not an outstanding climber....but, I was able to ride the loop after the new stairs....I doubt if that will be an option after the turf is stripped off. I race Saturday.
If you've got Kids racing, there's absolutely nothing wrong with setting up the bike with a long cage rear der. you can go as low as a 34T rear and a 34T chainring on the front...on a muddy, hilly course, for juniors, that might be a good option.