The racing is under way!
Emily and I got into the area yesterday and kicked the week off with a spin in Dupont to get our legs race ready.
Dupont is always fun and made for a good pre race ride, nice and flowy, pedaly, and wicked fun. 1.5 hrs went by fast.
After riding Dupont we had a solid hour before the pre race meeting/dinner. What to do in Brevard with time to kill… Oh! Go to Oskar Blues. One Dale’s Pale Ale later we headed to the Brevard Music Center for the opening Ceremonies! Packet pickup, dinner, and another Dale’s Pale Ale (they are a title sponsor to the race). Then I pulled my note book out for the instructions and notices. Luckily, I didn’t have to take too many notes. The Blue Ridge Adventures crew had everything covered in the handbook. Including elevation profiles, schedules, and other helpful hints.
Here is stage 1in the “racer handbook”, sponsored by Ally’s Bars. Ally is actually not racing because she has been warming up a bun in her oven for the last 4 months. Congrats, and thanks for sponsoring!
There are also these sweet elevation profile stickers for top tubes or handle bars. #PAF As you can see, stage 1 was a little wet and muddy…
Tuesday morning we woke up groggy at 6am to prepare for the 9am start. Getting into the RV park last night had us scrambling to get out the door by 7 but we made it and got to the venue at the Lower Cove Creek Campground. Today’s stage was really similar to the “Assualt on Pisgah’s Pilot”, and Emily and I had done a lot of the other trails so I was excited, feeling confident, and ready to race!
A little rain last night and early in the morning had the trails wet but still in great shape, one thing I love about this area. The trails always seem to be in mint condition. (Though I realize a lot of people put in a lot of time to keep the trials that way, for that I am eternally grateful)
Tristan Cowie and I separated ourselves from the field on the first climb of the day, Daniels Ridge, and from there we just kept the pace at a good tempo. Stage 1 was fast and there were no good places to really go on the attack, though we did test each other over the Cove Creek gravel rd climb into the descent.
I was pretty keen on putting the leaders jersey on my shoulders at the end of the stage. In order to do that I knew I had to hit the single track decent first, but Tristan made me work for it.
With no room for Tristan to come around I managed to cross the line first but Tristan was right on my wheel. I crossed the line and concluded that between the two of us, it is going to be a good week of racing!
Then I waited for Em to come in. She was running 3rd, so we both had a good start. But there is a lot of racing left and as Todd Brennham said “these trails have teeth”.
Clean up, river sit, then back to the RV park to relax and prep for stage 2 before awards. Kerry found some friends who are quite favorable to cherrios!
Relaxation afternoon then Emmy and I headed off to the music center for nightly awards. Dinner is being catered by the Hob Nob from down town brevard, which was on point tonight. A few beers provided by Oskar Blues and I am ready to go for tomorrow.
Men’s Open Podium…
Emmy holding down the podium
It was pretty sobering to see that Tristan and I got beat by 4min on the Enduro segment today. There were a few pedally sections that we probably could have gone a little harder on but GEEZ! Not sure I could see making up 4min. Probs to first place.