Cat 1 race: The rain started right at the finish of the Cat 3s, turning nice hardpack into butter. Some parts of the course was so slick it was comical, like pedaling on ice in slow motion. The downhills were a leap of faith in some spots. Turnout was big, considering the crappy weather with some fields around 30. Even pros had 40 including Tim Johnson and Lynn Bessette. The course was the same as last year with the big climb about 1.5 miles in. Jill and Chris Logan did a great job setting up, as usual. The rain continued the whole afternoon making Cat 2s ride in worse conditions. Everyone got mudfaced, but they all seemed to enjoy it and I didn’t hear of any casualties. All in all it was a typical first race at Hopbrook (last years warm/dry weather was a fluke) and I was able to really test my recovering achilles tendon repair. It was great to see all the familiar faces and catch up with my racing buddies. Hopefully, I’ll see some more Nerac Earth jerseys at the next race in Farmington. -AndyVodpod videos no longer available.
Cat. 3 race: We got there and it looked like it was going to pour, but the rain held out for the entire race. After you go around the field we all had to squeeze into single track so a lot of people ended up hiking their bikes around others. On our first loop there were 3-4 small mud puddles, but on the second there were 6-7 and they were huge. There were no big injuries but a lot of mechanics. Two high school teams went so there was more competition than we had last year, but they sent all the women off at once because we were a small pack. Although there were only 2 big hills you couldn’t tell when they ended and most of us ended up jumping off our bikes and running up them. Overall there was a lot of people, and since it was so cold out everyone was hanging out in the registration tent where they had a propane heater. My Dad and I both finished first with fast times. I got a bloody nose halfway through the 2nd lap and when Dad saw me, he thought I had crashed and mashed my face on something because there was blood all over it. He ran to the EMT to get him ready for me when I crossed the line. But, it was only superficial. -Rachel
(Rachel in light blue jacket)Vodpod videos no longer available.