On Thursday morning the 4 day trip started with the first stop at the new Mt Shasta Bike Park. Most of the team showed up and all got to ride the new flow trails, and the epic Downhill race course they have had for many years. The park is a success and I can not wait to go back soon.
Thursday night we hit the road for another 4 hours down to the Northstar Bike Park. We got a hotel in the village which was great because we were so close to the lifts and mtb trails. Friday we checked out all the trails and had a ton of fun on Livewire, the advanced jump trail. Saturday was dedicated to start practicing and finding the lines on out race course. The cat 2 course had a very fast and flowy start that dropped into a pedaly fire-road traverse that dropped into a technical trail that took you all the way down to the finish. I rode it many times and got my lines perfect for the race.
Sunday morning I was full of nervous excitement. I signed up for Cat 2 14-17, which was an age group I have never raced. I knew I could win it if I just pedaled the flat sections hard, and held the lines I picked on Saturday. I did one practice run down my course in the morning and then hit up Livewire to hopefully calm my nerves, but it didn’t work. After eating lunch I headed up to the start to watch Louis Mollett start and then get ready to start. In the gate I calmed myself down until I heard the six beeps and exploded out of the gate, with a fantastic start. I felt very fast through the first third of the trail, then when I came off of Speed Control and onto Foe Dog, the back of my bike slid out and smashed a rock bring me to a stop, I pedaled out of the rock garden and dropped into lower Foe Dog where I smashed through the berms, over the tabletop jump, and then through the finish. After sitting at the bottom waiting for the other 6 riders in my class to finish, I was put into 3rd place, only 2.12 seconds off of first place, and .68 seconds off of second place.
I could have won if I didn’t make my mistake in the rock garden, but am still stoked to be on the podium at Northstar.