1. Gearing for 1x
How would I calculate the climbing gears needed?
How much elevation gain?
How did you train for this?
1. I've ridden this course many times on a 1x. Safest bet for you is 50t x 32min but 34 or 36 would be a good idea (I'm sure there will be plenty of opinions on this).
2. Same as any other course. If you want to get fast on hills, train hills. If you want to get fast on flats, train hills. Find a tough 1mile hill for a 2mile repeat (push up AND down).