VERNON, NJSUNDAY DH FINALS
US Open Complete. I raced, then hiked back up to watch the men's action in the rock garden. Wow, impressive turnout of fans, I heard em when I came through, but really had no idea it was that packed. Red Bull brought in a DJ station,,, so tunes were pumping, beers were flowing, air horns and cow bells blasting. Nice summer day for a Bike race in New Jersey:)
After my crash yesterday, I had orders from Bryn and Lars, not to hit the finish line jump, so I had to ride the go around which was about a second slower. Finished 2nd by 0.4 seconds!!! Doh. Decent run, did the rocks clean, Just a exited the lower woods in an interesting spot, hit the low line by accident and lost a bit of speed. Still learning how to put together full runs, and I know what I gotta do next time, so I am happy to be learning and progressively getting better, which is my goal every race. T-MO (tracy) won, me 2nd, buhly 3rd.
In the men's final, we were at the top of the main rock section watching. Really interesting to hear results after seeing the top 15 from one spot. Mic Hannah, had a really creative, clever line entering the rocks, just a bit wider over rocks instead of the main root. He would have been loads faster than everyone else, but I guess flatted in the lower bit of the track. Neethling entered and exited super quick too, and it paid off with a win. There were 5 or 6 different lines. Brendan was wild, hit a low- low line to the right of the main tree, snaked around, degree of difficulty- High, reward-??, he looked fast, but not sure it was any faster than the main line. WOuld've been way better to see bryn out there, but that flat in qualifying put a damper on things. Lars was holding it down in the Men's final, till he nailed a rock and got a flat too- sympathy flat? probably not.
Podium here took well over two hours. All kinds of giveaways, and wild games to win sponsored stuff. I had to pound a beer to keep my sanity. Gee was there, but had to leave for his flight and missed it. Worth the wait though I suppose for a couple thousand dollars. US Open has the best pro prize purse for Pros in america. Not really stoked that they took away form the Women's purse to add to the mens. I hate this debate really, but I would at least prefer if they kept the same money from previous years and paid deeper, or add to it. ANyway, maybe they will learn for next year if enough people heckle them. Pinkbike.com is on it:). Regardless of anything, US Open is a Killer event, well worth going to on numerous levels. I am stoked that it continues to grow.
Anyway, pretty good couple of weeks, we will see how everyone goes at the World Cup next week in Scotland. Bryn will be on point, ready to dominate!!! I'll be at home training up , getting fitter,doing more full runs:) learning:) nursing my bruises.
PRO WOMEN 1- Tracy Moesley - 2:40.16 2- Jill Kintner - 2:40.57 - +0.41 3- Mellisa Buhl - 2:42.58 - +2.42 4- Jacqueline Harmony - 2:50.19 - +10.03 5- Miranda Miller - 2:51.12 - +10.96 PRO MEN 1- Andrew Neethling - 2:19.55 2- Gee Atherton - 2:20.09 - +0.54 3- Justin Leov - 2:20.36 - +0.81 4- Steve Smith - 2:21.00 - +1.45 5- Sam Hill - 2:21.52 - +1.97
SUN AM: The track is dry, fast and ready to go. Couple hrs till race time....
SAT REPORT: GIANT SLALOM FINALS + DH QUALI
GS- With all the delays from DH qualifying, giant slalom start times were pushed back about an hour. Convienient cause right as we lined up to start, the rain came. I was the last pro women to go, and noticed the turns had a nice shine on the dirt, which is the slipperiest time to ride. Regardless, didn't slide out and put down a decent run. Had a nasty wreck over the finishline jump in DH qualifying, so I opted not to take my second run. None of the other top 3 women wanted to contest my first run, so I won! Should've gone up for run two for the fans though, sorry fans, bit uneventful.
Men's race was nice and close though, especially top 5. Mitch Ropeloto's first run backed up his performance from yesterday's quali, then Brendan slotted just behind him, lopes crashed in his first run, sam was not that aggressive, troy brosnan was right there ripping, Logan Binggeli had the best last turn carve, lars slid out, etc.
Second run (best of Two format) the rain had stopped so the dirt was drying. Most of the guys improved their times; Sam was pedaling a lot more in this run, Troy looked amazing, Brendan pulled a couple tenths on mitch's first run, and took over the lead, and then it was up to mitch, last male pro on the hill, who was for sure winning the race!! He was lookingto be up by a second coming into the last section of track, till he mis-timed the high speed fadeaway decent. His prehop off the the lip was off, as hit his back wheel on the lip which flipped him down the drop, over the bars, about 15 feet onto his chest. Knocked out for like 10 seconds. So ugly, never ever want to see that. He was talking and remembered where he was and stuff, could move all limbs, but his crash for sure put a damper on things. He should be ok though, will find out when he gets out of hospital. Brendan ended up with the win. Mitch's first time held for 2nd, troy killed it for 3rd.
(Photo; SVEN @ Vitalmtb.com)
The downhill Was actually earlier in the day..
DH Mens Pro Downhill unofficial Qualifying Results: 1- Mick Hannah - 2:21.27 2- Gee Atherton - 2:21.90 - +0.63 3- Andrew Neethling - 2:22.22 - +0.95 4- Steve Smith - 2:22.33 - +1.06 5- Brendan Fairclough - 2:24.15 - +2.88 6- Justin Leov - 2:25.36 - +4.09 7- Jurgen Beneke - 2:26.33 - +5.06 8- Luke Strobel - 2:26.91 - +5.64 9- Duncan Riffle - 2:25.98 - +5.71 10- Sam Hill - 2:27.40 - +6.13 Lars was 12th!!! Bryn with a front flat, didn't qualify and wasn't happy. Kyle Strait and Marc Beaumont front flatted as well.
Womens Pro Downhill Qualifying Results: 1- Mellisa Buhl - 2:45.12 2- Tracy Moseley - 2:45.16 - +0.04 3- Jacqueline Harmony - 2:54.27 - +9.14 4- Myranda Miller - 2:58.26 - +13.14 5- Fionn Griffiths - 2:59.61 - +14.49 6- Rebecca McQueen - 3:01.27 - +16.15 7- Katie Holden - 3:03.84 - +18.72 8- Vaea Verbeeck - 3:07.82 - +22.70 9- Karen Eagan - 3:09.43 - +24.31 10- Johanne Tuttle - 3:14.11 - +28.99 11- Anne Galyean - 3:17.05 - +31.93 12- Joanna Petterson - 3:24.73 - +39.61 13- Jill Kintner - 3:32.84 - +47.72 (Crashed during run) 14- Amanda Pilling - 3:36.03 - +50.91 15- Anne Laplante - 3:51.18 - +1:06.06 Women Times now official I crashed in the worst place ever, over the finishline jump. Landed back wheel, didn't save it, and cartwheeled. Only damage was a handlebar to the Quad, bunch of other bruises, and a destroyed folded front wheel. Ready for tomorrow, would've been a good run...
Our condo is right at the finishline pretty much , so we ha a nice little viewing party at the pad. FRI REPORT: GIANT SLALOM QUALI + DH PRACTICE Big day of riding, morning DH practice followed by afternoon Giant Slalom Qualifiers. Had kind of a rough go of practice yesterday, 2 flat tires out of 3 runs. Bryn said to be light, but there are so many square edge rocks, it is a little tricky. All good , though, takes me about 3 runds to really get into it, and with the greasy conditions from the rain the night before, there is a lot of adapting to do:)
Giant slalom went well and was super fun. getting on my slalom bike feels really comfortable:). It's not a dual event, just one course, ride it as fast as possible. As much as I love US open, the schedule started to annoy me. Practive forever, then an hour and a half break, more practice and qualifying, too much after having half a day yesterday. I think what put me over the edge was Third eye Blind blasting over the stereo and my drinks getting thrown away in that break time before the next practice. Such a long hike up only to discover no liquid is available. Not really that bad though I suppose. Mitch took the win in Quali on a hardtail, which would have really sucked on this track, so there you go, the kid has skills. I won the ladies. Best of two runs for finals. ..
Women: 1- Jill Kintner - 43.15 2- Melissa Buhl - 44.22 - +1.07 3- Tracy Moseley - 46.26 - +3.11 4- Anne Laplante - 46.70 - +3.55 5- Joanne Petterson - 47.31 - +4.16 6- Johanne Tuttle - 50.14 - +6.99 7- Kate Parhiala - 52.27 - +9.12
Men: 1- Mitch Ropelato - 39.91 2- Brendan Fairclough - 40.63 - +0.72 3- Gerrit Beytagh/Brian Lopes - 41.13 - +1.22 4- Jared Rando - 41.17 - +1.26 5- George Ryan - 41.21 - +1.30 6- Logan Binggeli - 41.35 - +1.44 7- Troy Brosnan - 41.38 - +1.47 8- Kevin Aiello - 41.44 - +1.53 9- Lars Sternberg - 41.45 - +1.54 10- Sam Hill - 41.54 - +1.63 11- Blake Carney - 41.96 - +2.05 12- Mikey Haderer - 41.99 - +2.08 13- Alejandro Ortiz - 42.00 - +2.09 14- Mitch Chubey - 42.01 - +2.10 15- Tyler McCaul - 42.19 - +2.28
VERNON,NJ Us open seems to get bigger every year not for it's 1,000 feet of elevation, but as far as prize money and talent. They said something like a $25,000 pro purse!!. Plus in attendance; Sam Hill, Brendan Fairclough, Gee Atherton,, Stevie Smith, Bryn n Lars, Leov, Neethling, Tracy, Strobel, Giant fellas Duncan and Rando, Mic Hannah, Beaumont, Lopes, Odi Team, Buhly, Fionn Griffiths, Miranda Miller, Mitch Ropelato, etc.. So not too shabby, kudos to the organizers.
Yesterday was 93 degrees, super steamy from early in the day, just brutal to be outside, but today was not quite as bad. As I type this though there is lightning, thunder, rain, and wind. East coast is always so extreme with it's weather, makes for a lot of hiding out in the AC. I would trade it all for a nice 65 degree day with slight overcast, sigh.
Anyway, had a bit of course walk and a little jump jam at Jeff Lenowski's place down the road yesterday. Today; Giant slalom and DH practice. Gian slalom here is more fun than I remembered it last year. Very long hot sweaty walk to the top, but ripping. Corners are a little flat, as they seem pretty hard-pact and sustainable, but they all link up real nice. Best of two runs kind of format. Nice n mellow. I felt really comfortable on my little double today, so I'm excited for this.
DH was a lot better than it looked:) I mean it looked good! but the rocks rolled a lot smoother than what I thought, being a first timer on this track and all. Some square edged ones did try to bite me, but kept it going. Lots of fun. They added a new off-camber section which was a little tricky , and re routed parts of the bottom. The finishline jump broke a lot of people off because it was too short for the monster kicker. I didn't hit it today, don't really like the look of it. Saw so many people carcass off of it. Our room is right next to it, so maybe I won't watch any more of the Amateur practice. yeesh. Here is a helmet cam of the course VITAL
That's it for now, we will see what this rain does to the rocks up there...