I had so much fun this weekend. I went out to Port Angeles, WA for the 2nd Fluidride Cup of 2008. The guys at Fluidride and Hurricane did a fantastic job putting the race together. This race was definitely designed with the riders in mind. There was lots of practice. I love going to a race and being flat out exhausted at the end of each day...thats how it was. You could ride all day...slalom or dh! The race ran super Smooth...no drama. They even put a box up at the start to put are hoodies and jackets in...smart! I think that there was something like 260 riders in total...thats an amazing turnout for a brand new regional series! There was a crew up from So-Cal, the trusty Canadians, people from all over the northwest and even a Australian or 2! It was great to see a ton of ladies out at the race. I think there was something like 15 beginner women. Not too sure about Sport and Expert but there were lots. Pretty cool.
The DH track was rad! I could not stop riding it. The top third was pretty fast with lots of good corners. The middle section, my personal favorite, was super fast and flowy with some rocks and roots. It reminded me of mix between angry pirate and duffman (Whistler). It was flow galore. No pedaling just rhythm...love it. From there it opened up a bit into some more rad corners and into a double I am not sure how big it is 15-20 ft? I have no idea but from there you go into a whoops section. Then you pedal...or not. Next is Justice which was the spectator watching point...it was like this steep chute with little drop in the middle. After Justice there were some more corners and then this like g-out up to what used to be a step-up but it isn’t anymore but you can still air up it. Then a couple of table-ish mound things which I never hit right. Then some more sweet corners and a little uphill and more sweet corners which you can bounce between (ie. angry pirate) and then you are pretty much done. The course had a nice mix of everything.
The slalom track was pretty rad too. Lots of berms and some cool flat corners. I love corners!!! Lars was absolutely slaying the course. He was soooo much faster than anyone else riding the course. He had it on lock-down!!!
I feel like this weekend was a big turning point for me. I have a long way to go to get to where I want to be but this was one step in the right direction. I absolutely love going to races. Racing helps you so much to grow as a rider...you can’t not become a better rider from racing. From beginner to pro, racing pushes you to be the best you can be and thats why I love it. As much as I love it, I have struggled so much with it. I always seem to crack under the slightest pressure. I know that it is something that I just need to overcome and thats why I have been working so hard on it. Racing of any kind is difficult, period! It is so hard to put together a race run!!! Sunday I finallllllllly put one together.
I was pretty bummed after cracking in slalom on Saturday and I funneled the anger and frustration into Sunday. My qualifying run went well I qualified 1st, 17 seconds ahead of 2nd place. My run was pretty conservative I just tried to chill out and find my rhythm. When the finals came around I was so nervous, When I first started my race run it started off as they always do...I was riding like a dork, sloppy and stiff. Finally, I calmed myself...I was like this is either gonna go one of two ways...you are a) going to ride like a “dork” and crash and lose or b) gonna chill out and make it down. I chose the later. I just took it easy and tried to use the natural terrain to find my speed so that I could just pump and flow. I ended up 1st, 19 seconds ahead of 2nd place for my first Pro win so I was pretty stoked!! With that said, I was gunning for the boys and I didn’t quite get the time I wanted by chilling out but I achieved one big goal today so I am happy!!!
Anyway, enough blabber. Lars made a sweep this weekend with slalom and downhill victories. He is on fire this year. Watch out. Congrats to Leana Gerarrd for the slalom victory, I will post up the full results when they are available...here is the short list for now.
Downhill: 1st Lars Sternberg 2nd Andrew Mitchell 3rd Bart McDaniells 4th Casey Northern 5th Griz Mclendon
1st Katie Holden 2nd Leana Gerrard 3rd Joy Mutoli
Slalom 1st Lars Sternberg 2nd Casey Northern
1st Leana Gerrard 2nd Katie Holden