Photo: Kenny When
Last weekend was STXC/XC Nats in Snowshoe WV. We use to race a NORBA National there back in the day. The place hasn’t changed much; it still sits in a cloud most of the day, there are still tons of rocks and roots and it still rains most of the time. I don’t mean that to sound negative, just part of racing there, it’s always challenging for both bikes and bodies and dry shoes.
The course has changed a lot since we use to chase Roland Green up and down the mountain while he was wearing that rainbow jersey. It’s still as technical as ever but there is no deep mud, no walking around the lake and no grinding for more then a handful of minutes up the fire road.
The STXC was Friday and the rain stopped but the course was still muddy when we lined up after a few hour rain delay. I ended up 4th after yoyoing on and off of the chase group most of the race. I should have been 5th but Blevins flatted out of the lead with Howie, bet they would have had a great race for the win.
We had a day off between the Friday STXC and the Sunday XC. I was looking forward to the XC since there wasn’t much climbing, lots of roots and rocks and just a real MTB test. I got off to good start and was in 3rd for most of the first lap before Howie flatted and dropped back to 4th or 5th. He charged back quickly and I managed to keep him and Ettinger in site for most of the next lap. It was short lived though as they rode away I spent the rest of the race solo until about 5 minutes from the finish when Payson also passed me, I rolled in for 4 again.
It wasn’t my best Nationals ever but it was a super fun, probably the best course in recent history. The bike worked perfect in trying conditions and I was part of the race for while. Here was my setup:
Scott Spark 135 psi rear shock, SID fork 93 psi, eggbeaters, Maxxis Ikon EXO front 23/ rear 24, SRAM Eagle 36 chain ring, Ice Friction coated chain
I have to say, it’s harder and harder to leave the family when I go on trips now. Coop seems to grow by the day and I hate missing it. That said, nothing is better then a big hug when I get home from a trip.
I’m on a rest week but got a chance to ride with El Grupo youth cycling crew from Tucson on Tuesday. I’ve also been working hard on the Fondo, it’s coming together nicely. We’re gaining some new sponsors, ironing out scheduling/course details and getting the swag sorted out. The course is going to be a real challenge and a bit more high alpine then last time. I’m thinking it’s about 5,000 ft of climbing for the 50 mile, the 15 shouldn’t be more then 1,500 ft. Hoping to have a course map up soon.
Registration is open: http://ironhorsebicycleclassic.com/todds-durango-dirt-fondo?utm_content=bufferb1559&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
I’ve been busy knocking out stuff for my mortgage license too. I finally locked in my E/O insurance, got my 2nd set of fingerprints and submitted all the info to DORA. I thought USADA took a lot of information, I’m surprised they haven’t implemented fingerprints and background checks too.
I’m looking forward to the next few weeks or training/resting/racing/repeat. Leadville is 2 weeks away, from there it’s straight to Breck Epic, down to Mexico for a marathon race, Park City Point 2 Point, a wedding back east and then the Fondo September 16. It’s setting up to be a great end to the summer.
WellsCoached has also been doing great and has a bunch of athletes gearing up for Leadville. When I started coaching I was hoping to keep it small but it’s been awesome following along and watching everyone’s results. I find myself scouring obscure cycling websites searching for results of how everyone did each weekend.
I wonder what Coop and Hannah are doing right now…….