PC: Brian Smith

Josiah Middaugh is an 8 time North American Snowshoe Champion, 10 time Go Pro Mountain Games Champion, 14 time XTERRA US National Champion, XTERRA World Champion and can now add Fat Bike World Champion to his lengthy list of accolades.

Excelling in the mountains at elevation, Middaugh’s career has been XTERRA focused but he has mixed it up with success in 70.3 road triathlons, adventure races, mountain bike races, snowshoe races and mountain games showing his strength and diversity. While the upcoming season will once again be XTERRA centric and he continues to focus his training on the 2019 Pan American XTERRA series, Middaugh took some time out of his specific training to focus on fat biking, stating “This year I have made a more dedicated effort to get outside on the fat bike 1 or 2 days per week, which has been very enjoyable and turns out is a very good strength builder.”

The small ski town of Crested Butte, Colorado was host to the championship race, located just a few hours from where Middaugh lives and trains. Describing the conditions and tactics on race day, Middaugh said “The course seems straight forward on paper because it was all on Nordic trails, but fat biking has proven to be one of the most dynamic sports I have competed in. Mainly because conditions change for every ride and on a lapped course, the conditions change from lap to lap. The race was 32 miles, which is long for a cross country mountain bike race and the fact that it was on snow with all of that rolling resistance and adverse weather made it more challenging.”

PC: Brian Smith

“I knew I wanted to stay near the front of the race from the start, so I got out quickly. I didn’t want to do too much work, but on the fat bike you are always doing a lot of work to overcome the rolling resistance. I found myself at the front of the race half way through the first lap of the 4-lap race. The mountain bike legends Todd Wells and Travis Brown were in the front pack as well as the Mexican National Champ Tony Baca, and last year’s National Champion Chris Stevens. I did more work than I wanted to into the cold headwinds, but I wanted to keep the race strung out so it didn’t come down to a sprint. Each lap I was able to pop more riders off the back and mid-way through the third lap it was just Tony Baca and myself. At the top of one of the climbs he slipped out and came off his bike. I thought that was my chance and I time trialed the last 12 miles.”

Crossing the finish line with over 90 seconds to spare on Chris Stevens and a further 6 seconds on third place Baca, Middaugh won the Fat Bike World Championships in a time of 2:11:50, and remarked

“I am very excited to be able to win the Fat Bike World Championship, mostly just to complete the process of setting a goal, training specifically, dialing in the equipment, and performing on race day.”

At a little over 2 hours to complete the 32-mile race, Middaugh said he relied on “2 bottles of EFS Pro mixed to about 200 calories per bottle and also carried one EFS Liquid Shot (400 calories) and finished about 2/3’ds of it. My heart rate was right around threshold for the entire race, so I needed to nail the nutrition and I couldn’t have kept that intensity much longer.”

Fat Bike World Championships
Crested Butte, Colorado

1. Josiah Middaugh 2:11:50
2. Chris Stevens 2:13:21
3. Tony Baca 2:13:27
4. Todd Wells 2:15:42
5. Travis Brown 2:20:23