I always get a little excited when I hear that there’s a possibility of a race day downpour- especially when it’s a race I don’t expect to do well in. There’s something about getting your ass kicked in the slop that just makes it more fun. Oh, and I was excited to wear the mud proof camouflage kit… it’s a conversation piece.
The rain started coming down during the last lap of the women’s pro race. They came in relatively clean but during the thirty minutes before the men’s race the sky opened up.
All 100+ of us lined up at 1:45 and stood around in the rain for fifteen minutes waiting to get called up. I was number 91 and in the last pen, not a great starting position, especially for such a big field and such a fast course.
We charged into the rain and things got messy right off the bat. The first climb was a muddy wall but everyone managed to stay on. The rock garden was fast and slick and then things really fell apart on the backside. The winding/switchback singletrack was the consistency of brownie mix and the off camber sections were a skating rink. Somehow I managed to stay on for the first few laps but things deteriorated each time we went around. By the fourth lap even the grass was like ice and it was more like a cyclocross race than a MTB race. Guys were pushing their bikes and running up slick muddy sections. It was awesome. Oh and I picked up another great sponsor. ESI grips was at the race and happy to help out to supply my grips for the season. I think the felt sorry for my but I’m super excited to try out the new FIT ergo grips!