Well after Austria, I had a day at home to do laundry, repack, hit our local breakfast spot, and fly out to New Mexico. The drive from Albuquerque up the windy mountain road in the dark all jetlagged was pretty wild. Anyway, Angelfire has a pretty big bike park with lots of trails. We were here last year for nationals as well, so they changed up the track a bit to shorten it from 6 minutes down to probably 3 or 4. We start at 10,000 feet, so it's a bit easier with the change. This year's national track is set on the old World cup track from 2004. It doesn't feel at all like a current world cup track. There are a lot of straight lines and a general mellow grade connected by high speed fire roads. It's super fun though, and does however have some tricky bits with all the rocks and dry loose dirt. Since every person here, Cat 3, 2, 1, and pro are riding the same course, it's getting really blown out. Lots of orange spray paint on the rocks so you can see the nasty ones. The racing here is really fun and laid back. Bunch of characters cruising around, that are just nice and familiar:)
(Matt Thompson- Trail builder extraordinaire/ American/bent ass finger)
I like the course, happy to be racing in America. The slalom course got a slight makeover as well. It's not the best of tracks, in fact last year it was the worst track ever, but for some reason, I liked it better this time with the changes they made. Nothing technical, It is fast down into berms with 4" of loose dirt, couple of flat turns and rollers to pick up for and pump, one jump maybe two. I love riding my slalom bike so much and I feel like a champ on that bike, so whatever. There are only 2 races a year that I get to race it, so making the most of it.
Anyway, this is the race for the stars and stripe sleeve and National Championship. Gwin is here for the men, Neko, Logan Binggelli, Aiello, Bubba Warren, Mitchypoo, kyle thomas etc. In the women's field, I just cruised into the bike shop where Jackie Harmony works, only to find her fully pregnant:) so she will not be racing. Lauren Daney is here, becky Garner, Abbey Hippley, and a few others. I haven't raced these ladies in a couple years, so should be fun. I am feeling pretty good, and stoked on the 650b wheels on a course like this with all the fireroad sections.
I don't think there is a single photographer here, so don't expect much coverage. I'll try to keep ya posted though...