MONTEREY, CA Really good weekend at the Sea otter classic for me!! won both the Slalom (3-pete) and the DH (1st time) = Clean sweep. Norco was pumped! Love where we landed with them, really nice people and beautiful bikes that can win:)
Bryn set the fastest time in slalom qualifying on the blue side, and qualified 3rd overall!! He is amazing slalom . First round rolled his tire off the rim from cornering so hard, and that was it. Racing is funny sometimes. Good for him to be up to speed against the best guys in the world though. Dh too, he looked incredible. Once he gets all the ducks in a row in a race run, those guys are in trouble, think he is faster and more controlled than ever before. Just slid out in the final.
Got some fancy new components from Shimano, Fox, Crankbros, Oakley , etc, which is an honor. Norco Made me a custom slalom bike too. Lots of media coverage , so this is the place to show new stuff off and do well for sponsors, cause they are all here doing a bit of an expo as well. There is so much going on, draws a big crowd from all types of cycling. Not too much intermingling amongst riders. The schedule had us up at 630 am ever morning for practice and done by 11.
I raced the new Saint gear in the slalom for the ease of shifting, quietness, and overall feel. 2 quick power loaded gear changes out of the start needed precision. The attention to detail is really noticeable in the feel and textures of the levers. Had a good run through my rounds and practice, but ultimately Buhly and I met in the final for annual slalom battle. Manon Carpenter for 3rd.
On the xc/DH bike (my Norco Sight) for this weekend, Gwin and I were the first ones on the new 34 fork for 26". The tuning on it makes things a whole lot easier for the average consumer, and the traction and performance is impressive, like riding on air:) Crankbros have a few new DH mallets being tested. as well, platform changes mostly, some new ideas.
The weather this year was like 80-90 degrees, dry and hot. Sunburn central for some. Racing two events and pushing up the hill for slalom leads to a lot of exposure. The Euros were struggling so hard, bright red faces, nearly heat stroke for poor Josh Bryceland.
This downhill race is half about set up and half about fitness. 7 turns in total I think, but kinda fun to ride. I basically took my trail bike, and changed the gearing and the fork. That was it 140mm, with a shortened rc4 on the back, which is so sick. Over the years, we have tried every type of bike, 5", 6" 7" 8", and guess what, my 5.5" was the best. It's exactly like riding an xc trail, but with some jumps and a couple fast dh bits. Buhly is so strong here every year, so it was a big accomplishment to get the Win here finally. My run was pretty good, so that is nioce to be racing full runs well. 2 minutes of sprinting seems easy after the 4.5 minutes of sprinting in south Africa:)
I'm pretty tired from the drive home.Gonna finish this later. C ya.