LAKE PLACID, NYSo,, day 1 of practice on this 5 kilometer downhill track is complete. After about a week of rain, we were for sure mudding it. Top layer of good dirt has dispersed though, and we got into dark black slippery dirt and exposed roots. Drying up though.

Not too many people in attendance, maybe 20-30 pros?? Trek's full team, 1/2 of Giant, 1/2 of KHS, 2/3 of Transition, Kieran Bennett, Heikki Hall, Waylan Smith, Mammelarr, Beytahg, few locals etc. Our good pal Jared Rando has declared this his last race of his last full official season:( He'll probably race a few rounds in OZ from time to time, maybe a US round somewhere in the future, but is gonna settle down. We will miss him a bunch on tour.:(

There are some good sections to this track, kinda felt like trail riding. It is super rocky, rooty, ridiculously long, and a lot of work to make a full run. Top section from the start is straight and high speed, scares me every time, then into slow wooded switchback section, rock garden, fireroad, stream crossing, root traversing, etc, it just goes on forever. Some old school high speed flat fire road turns, which are sketchy getting sideways. Our mechanic Marshy and I were making passes on eachother through there:) After 4 runs, It feels like the objective will be just to hold on and make it down with some kind of flow. The guys who have ridden here were claiming 8min 45 in the dry, but it'll be longer than that probably if it stays wet. Rain has stopped for a minute, but cloudy skies are still looming..