21-06-02 NORBA #3, Snow Shoe, West Virginia.
Hi, after a couple of very frustrating weeks, I finally finished a race, and in
2nd place! The course here in West Virginia was what I call a real MTB course!
The long descents were steep, with heaps of gnarly roots and rocks. The climbs
were equally as tough...long, steep, and hot. Maybe I am a bit biased though, as I usually like a course after I do well! I had the worst starting position, as
I didn't have any NORBA points, so heading into the first downhill I was in
about 20th place. I had to fight hard for the first 2 laps (of 5), while Roland
and Ryder did their standard thing...opening up a
sec gap on the struggling
field. I managed to catch them on the second downhill, partly because I was
riding my full suspension Scalpel, and a Dual Slalom (2.2) front tire! That was
a bit of an experiment for me today (I have never seen anyone ride XC with a
tire this big!). It was Doug's (our DH mechanic) idea, after he rode the course.
We had cut down the center knobs to help lower the rolling resistance, and at
the end of the day, I think it was a brilliant idea. I managed to hang onto
Roland for another lap, meanwhile we dropped Ryder, but then Roland put down the hammer up the steep climbs, and I had nothing left to respond. This guy is just too strong! Finally I almost blew on the last lap, and just managed to hold on
for my second best finish in a NORBA.
I will race the short track tomorrow, but I haven't done too well at these
recently, so I will look at it like good hard training!
14-06-02 NORBA #2, Alpine Valley, Wisconsin.
This was an event put on by Team Sports, who also own our team Volvo/Cannondale. So it was important to try and do well here. The venue was kind of in the
nowhere, but the course was fantastic. There were no big mountains in sight, but the organizers had created a great maze of awesome single
that kept us on our toes the whole race. Well, for me until 1 lap to go, that is! I was riding on some very light weight skinny tires, and managed to puncture
for the first time in over a year! Then 1/2 a lap after I fixed it, I managed to puncture again. I was in 2nd place at the time, just
sec behind Roland Green. I just stood there, holding my frustration in. I tried to contain myself, and
tell myself that
it's just racing. But considering I had the same situation just
5 days earlier in the Euro Cup (except then it was my rear derailleur!) I was
really bummed out. Nonetheless, I tried to keep my head high...
it's a long
day's short track was a bit of a bore. Roland stomped away to win
again...not that I could see, as I was struggling around to finish 16th.
The whole weekend was a bit disappointing for the team, as Cedric was a bit ill, and could not podium in either 4-cross, or DH.