Our drive to Angel Fire started out driving through some of the most beautiful areas in Arizona. Not too many people know that more than half of Arizona is covered in mountains and is not that hot. One of our stops in Arizona was in Holbrook where we did a little workout, then proceeded to skate in the local skatepark. It was a fun little track and definitely sketchy at times. When we finally crossed over into New Mexico it was getting late, so we found a quiet spot where the sky was filled with stars. The next morning we got up bright and early, enjoyed the best Huevos Rancheros ever in Albuquerque and arrived in Angel Fire just in time for afternoon practice.
The turnout to this venue was fantastic and included the likes of Grassroots Cycles, KHS, aCOS, Mojo Wheels, Fox Shox, Shimano, Projekt Roam and many more. It was so great to see the Mountain States Crew again, I sure did miss them all. One of my most favorite parts of a race is getting to see everyone who enjoys this stuff as much as I do. I saw some friends I haven’t seen since last year and some friends I have seen just recently. I was able to chat it up with my sweet trainer Chris Boice, who has done an awesome job of training Dante and I thus far. I have seen in my results and the feeling when I ride that his training is in effect. Dante’s parents and Aunt & Uncle came out to watch us race and of course take a super nice vacation in beautiful Angel Fire.
I got about 3 practice runs each day and felt as if this was plenty enough for the length of the course and the amount of dust you inhale each time down the mountain. I got all my lines down as best I could considering most of the lines were changing each run down. The course was brutal with the notorious rocks of Angel Fire, the long, long pedal section underneath the lift and the most fun part the jumps towards the finish. My seeding run started off with a bang, I clipped my pedal after the start of the run. The pedal spindle bent and I was unable to clip in and just barely able to keep my foot on the pedal. I kept on going, just tucking a lot and attempting an occasional pedal, just to have my foot fly off on each rotation. I came across the finish right behind Wendy and was proud of myself for finishing off the run with the situation at hand. Lucky for me Crankbrothers had just sent me a new set of pedals which went straight onto the bike. I relaxed, ate lunch and waited for my race run. It was time, time to shine! I took off the start with full confidence, taking the top rocky, loose trees as smooth as I could. By the time I got to the straight under the lift I was full of energy and pedaled hard. I could see a rider in front of me and was determined to get by her before we ducked back into the woods. I was close, however I did catch her back into the trees and slowed up a bit until it was safe to pass. Back on track I sped down the second high speed section into the step up, step down and into the famous road gap. There were tons of people cheering at the road gap, one of the best places to watch. I zig zagged through the last set of tress and blasted into the last straight with so much energy left over. I sprinted through the finish with a time of 6:37. This time was enough for the win and I felt very deserving of this win for the run I just had.