The World Cup Final at Windham is over, but by far will not be forgotten. The people in Windham just love the cycling events held in their town. This year saw the best mountain bike racers in the world converge in the Catskill Mountains for four days of riding, racing, parties and other festivities that the town and mountain had planned.
I spent a good part of the four days there too. I rode, I mingled, I met up with some people that I hadn’t seen since last summer’s races and I took lots of pictures. Thursday was packet pick-up and pre-ride day for me. The course was mostly the same as 2009, but a year later and rain earlier in the week will change it. I only rode one lap due to the wet conditions in spots. I know I’m only one person, but that’s one less set of wheels going through the wet areas again. I also wanted to spend time in the expo area before it got too crowded over the weekend.
On Friday, I again only rode one lap. The course was much dryer but I still didn’t want to over do it and practice times for amateurs was very limited too. I also wanted to spend time taking some pictures of the pro practice. By taking pictures during the practice, I wasn’t getting in the way of the official media. The World Cup downhill qualifying was also held on Friday. Those guys (and girls) are something to watch…big air and real fast.
No bike on Saturday. That was World Cup Cross Country race day. The women went off first, in the morning, and the men followed in the early afternoon. Both the men and women were fast. The top women were doing laps at ~19 minutes while the top men were ~16 minutes. And they are all just so smooth through the rocks and roots that we have here in the northeast. By the end of the day I had taken about 640 pictures between Friday practice and downhill qualifying, and then during Saturday’s cross country races.
Now it’s Sunday. Race day for me. The Cat 2 cross country race went off at 10:15 am. I was rested and I did feel pretty good. But I also knew that it was a challenging course with a lot of stronger riders in my class. But, I was also there to have fun. And fun I did have. The course was in great shape, mostly dry, very ridable and a lot of spectators along the way too. With no aspiration of winning, I had set a few goals for myself; finish, finish in 1:45:00 or less and have fun. My first lap was about 30 minutes, so a time of 1:45:00 was well withing reach. My second lap was about 34 minutes with my third being about 37 minutes. A finishing time of 1:41 and change wasn’t even close the top 10 times, but it was right there for a 23rd place finish, and meeting all of my goals for the race.