Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pro GRT #1

The first race of the year finally came and I was pumped to kick off the season with such a stacked field of riders!  The Pro GRT this past weekend was the first of 6 races in the USA National series and was held in Port angeles, WA.  This race attracted some of the world's fastest downhill riders including Steve Smith, Aaron Gwin, Greg Minaar, Jill Kintner and many, many more...what a treat!
CCN Chariot...riding in style!
The journey started out on Wednesday afternoon, when me and fellow CCN'ers Danice Uyegugi and Bryden Rigets left CCN Headquarters with captain Phil Mowatt at the helm of our chariot.  It was smooth sailing and we finally made it to where we'd be calling home for the next four days at about midnight...I was amped to get in lots of riding over the next few days!

As day one got under way it was great to be back in race atmosphere again...P.A has one of the best atmospheres I've encountered; great fans, great course and great organizers!

CCN pits for the weekend

The course was super-fast in the top section and got tight and twisty as it headed into the trees.  The track changed over the course of the weekend and the rain on-and-off through the weekend definitely made for a few rowdy sections...good times!  It felt great to be back racing!

Course walk Day 1
We got in tonnes of practice time and on day two I was able to get some GoPro footage from one of our warm up's a little rough, but so was the course!

The Pros had seeding on Saturday; Steve Smith came out on top for the men and it was Jill Kintner who took the lead for the women.  I ended up seeding 11th, which was middle of the pack despite a few major mistakes...I was pumped for no off the bike crashes:)

For race day I was aiming for top 7...I had laid down a few fast practice laps and was sure I could find the much needed seconds somewhere on the track on race day...alas I guess it wasn't quite in the cards this time but I did improve over Saturday's seeding run and was pretty stoked about that.  Several mistakes and some gearing issues during my run definitely cost me some time but I was stoked to find that I had lots left in the tank at the end and that fitness was not the issue.  I was glad to have stayed on the bike....I know I can "let it hang out there" just a little bit more next time!

Race Day Results for the women
First race jitters are hopefully all out and I can't wait to head back to P.A for round 3 of the NW Cup on May 11th!