Slalom day is always the best of the otter. There should be more of this format,,, fans love it, you ride your own race, anything can happen, good match ups, etc. Anyway...Felt pretty low key compared to years past with all the World Cup guys and girls skipping on this race to be in South Africa early for next week's world cup.
Got plenty of slaloming in for one day. practice and quali this morning, little nap, then into the finals. Poor Kyle Strait was also doing the speed and style event, which was piss poor planning by whoever scheduled things. They also had DH practice going on, but no one who raced slalom could really afford to go do it in the little break that I used for a nap:)
Quali was pretty good though, I safely posted the fastest time for the ladies- top 8 advanced, while Jared and Lopes tied their times in the Men's field of 32. That set the tone for the brackets and race match ups. They pair fastest with the slowest and start eliminating by head to head match ups from there. Red course , blue course, combined time differentials advance.
The track changed a bit, but held fairly solid as the sun was out all day. Wind was more of a factor in the finals than changing traction, actually pretty strong for finals, felt the shift from a tail wind to a cross wind in the rhythm sections. Gonna always have a Few big holes in corners form the natural springs, and crumbling dirt down into the turns to make it a Bit slippery. Boggles my mind though how they tear this course down every year and build it pretty much exactly the same. Would be cool to spruce up the flow a bit, but whatever, fun course to ride once a year...
I was feeling pretty good all day. Defiantly been noticing how my downhill skills have been elevating my game. Bars are wider and higher, position more off the back, turning better, spotting smoother arching lines. It's fun for me to still be gaining ground. Anyway. Had 8 ladies today, so not as many sprints as normal, which was nice for the dh sprint-fest tomorrow. I was anticipating a buhly head to head battle in the final, but she had a crash in qualifying and we met in the Semi. I used up quite a bit of sprint in that round treating it like a pressure final, which pused me into a few little mistakes in the final vs Johanna peterson, but all good. Still managed the W.
In the boys rounds, the top 8 were all super exciting to watch, but Lopes vs jared was always gonna be the heat. Those guys were pretty even up top, but jared managed a big gap on the last straight. Then in the second run, jared had it and Lopes couldn't quite hang down the final stretch, shut it down. Talking to Lopes afterwards, he said he used up a lot of his energy in the round before finals vs danny, and just didn't have it for Jared this time. Doesn't help that he raced short track yesterday, but he was still flying out there:) Typical smooth , pedaling everywhere.
Bryn made it to the small finals, he had jared in the semis, so ended up battling it out with Danny Hart in the small final. They were really close, bryn won the first run, then danny laid down some powerhouse sprint to squeak out the bronze.
Big day tomorrow, we are watching Seattle Supercross right now on tv, then off to bed. Ol Strobel was there live, punk. Big day of DH tomorrow! Excited to see how we manage.
Big thanks today to Transition for making such a great feeling slalom bikes, and fox for tuning them up for us. All of out parts and sponsors have been great!!! TR