Ashland has always been one of my favorite venues. The trails are awesome, the scene is awesome, and racing is awesome. I actually did my first ever mountain bike race in Ashland in June 2009 so it has some good history for me. It seems that a lot of people feel the same way because the race was sold out with over 300 racers!
We rolled up on Friday morning pretty early and were able to check in to the hotel and head up the hill for a shuttle by 1 o’clock. The weather was looking pretty crazy with a super low cloud base but we didn’t think anything of it and just dropped in for a practice run on stages 3 and 4. The trails at the top were absolutely all time good as far as traction goes and the smile was already from ear to ear. As we dropped further down the mountain we started getting some light rain and then almost as if a switch turned on somewhere it started dumping! It was pretty funny, the trails immediately started flooding and i would have maybe been better off on a kayak haha. I haven’t had so much fun riding and getting sketchy everywhere in a long time.
We got to the bottom and it was still dumping so we decided to just head back and skip the 9 mile climb up to stages 1 and 2. Racing blind can be really fun so we just decided to wing it. It continued to rain off and on throughout Friday but with the decomposed granite in the dirt it was setting up to be perfect conditions for the race.
We woke up Saturday to blue skies and warm weather and I couldn’t wait to get on the trails! After some breakfast and a shuttle to the top of the mountain it was go time! They had us race stages 3 and 4 first and the conditions couldn’t have been better. I had two solid runs and was sitting in third after the lunch break. I felt good and was just trying to be smart since we have National Champs next weekend. The next two runs were blind (no practice) for me so i just decide to have fun and ride mellow to hold onto a podium spot. I had two smooth runs and ended up holding onto my third place behind local ripper Nathan Riddle and Old man Mark Weir. I had had a really great weekend and couldn’t thank the Ashland Mountain Adventure crew for putting on such and awesome event.
Marin Mount Vision
SR SUNTOUR Auron fork 160mm travel
Shimano XTR drivetrain and wheels
Shimano Saint Brakes
Deity Blacklabel bar and Cavity stem
WTB Trailboss 2.4 light tires front and rear
WTB Volt 135 saddle
WTB Tech Trail grips
MRP AMG guide
Stages power meter