After the normal west to east flight we started the 4-hour and some drive down to Snowshoe, WV.  This is the 5th time I had been to the ski resort so I was not super pumped on heading back up there for the race.

Now the cool thing about Snowshoe is the venue, after the long drive you pull up to a pretty insane golf course (which I know Tom would like) but I hate it because the years I have played there I have lost more balls then holes on the course so I was kind of over it.  Another big plus is that the race truck gets parked in the car park on pavement and our motel is about only 100meters away.  Now the track is a little different, one of the most technical tracks on the GNCC circuit and sometimes not all that fun.

Saturday was going to be a fun day as Shane, Chris and I were going to do a light cycle down and back up the mountain. Now it’s a pretty big hill but it would have been good to get the blood pumping and loosen up some before the race.   Things didn’t go as planned as I got sick the week leading up to the race so I spent Saturday laying down trying to keep getting better and saving some energy.  Saturday afternoon I did a few still photos with Kinney Jones with some 2012 Moose Racing gear.  It was the first time I had seen it and I’m pretty pumped on the new designs of the gear.

Sunday morning I had decided to only walk a little bit so we caught the ski lift down to the bottom then walked what felt like half way back up to get to the track, on the way up we had to stop so I could take a couple of breathers as I was getting a little light headed, I did take an early soil sample before I even got on the bike, a beaver ran across the road so I went to jump across a ditch so I could take a look because we don’t have them in Australia and I slipped and fell flat on my face with my hands still in my pockets! My parents always told me to keep them out!

The race was good; I got a good start and led for the first couple of miles.  We had been told that this year the track was more gnarly than usual so I was expecting the worse!  After the first loop the track was pretty beat up and was only going to get worse, the second loop was almost all fresh trail so it was good on the first lap.  I had been able to stay with the lead guys which was what I was planning on doing all day and I had also planned on keeping out of the sections where I would have to push. I had zero energy and knew any additional effort would kill me. There was two mud holes that we have always ran and there has always been two alternate lines around them that are longer but safer, I took both of these lines on every lap and one of them ended up helping me take the win in the end.

On the second to last lap Charlie and I started to pull away from the pack a little, I was following him and he had definitely picked up the pace some so it was going to be interesting.  It all ended when we both came up on a medium hill that was covered in rocks, it was already hard enough but it was full of lappers.  Charlie got stuck and I also got stuck trying different lines, I think in any other situation I could have jumped off pushed a bit and then got back going no problem but the rocks were super slippery so I ended up pushing up half of the hill.  By the time I got to the top I had lost about 4 spots and had the heart rate up around max!  A few miles later I came up on another hill a little steeper minus the rocks but still with the lappers and two of the leaders were jammed up also!  Somehow I managed to get around them by pushing my bike up and around again huffing and puffing with a half burnt out clutch from the whole deal, but the good news was I moved in to 2nd spot.

The last lap was good, I felt like I rode strong and managed to catch Nate where I passed him close to the finish and held on for the win.  Once we were finished the rain started so we all got pretty lucky.




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