Friday was the “unofficial” day of practice or simply just a day to have fun on the miles and miles of trails Snowshoe has to offer. With 40 trails and 1,500 vertical feet of descent, one could get lost in everything the park has to offer and easy fall into the trap “Oh wait, don’t I have a race to get ready for?” Day one wasn’t looking promising in terms of conditions, but we all remind ourselves this is Snowshoe and it is a race weekend (they typically don’t play well together). It went like this….fog, sun, fog, rain, sun, rain, fog, sun….. forcing the trail crew to keep race course closed to protect the integrity of the soil in some newly remodeled sections of the course. That just meant a morning trail walk, some afternoon fun on Cupp Cake, BallNJack, Missing Link, Powerline, and topping off the evening with your favorite brew and grub at the Fox Fire Grille in the village, pretty damn good food with the best of friends.
A light rain continued into the night sure ensuring that trail conditions for the first day of official series practice would be, Slippy-do! Even walking down the course was challenging for this Dirt Passion photographer, anything buried in the canopy resulted in sliding two or three feet per step on what felt like peanut butter, either that or it was spending time on your rear. Round two would consist of the entire Pro DH course for the Weekend Warriors and Intro classes, with a split about three quarters down the course to the “Lincoln Log” out into the open slope, over lift line rock drop, and onto the finish for the Pros and Amateurs.
Race day weather was forecasted for the best of the two day weekend, but yet still the coverage in the canopy offered no change in course conditions. It just simply wouldn’t be enough time, wind, sun light for the track to start to dry out. Ladies Elite was just comprised of two lady rippers. It would be Rae Gandolf with an impressive lead over Amy Leishear by 18 seconds. Elite Men would yet again become the battle of “old” versus “young”. The young guns would sit atop the podium just as they did in Race 1, with Luca Shaw (Specialized) over Jay Fesperman (GROM Racing) by 1.2 sec (impressive considering that he finished with a failed chain) and Trevyn Newpher 3.6 sec back.
Pro Men’s Top Ten:
Luca Shaw – Specialized 04:31.5
Jay Fesperman – GROM Racing 04:32.7
Trevyn Newpher – Snowshoe Resort/Rental/Dakine/Hopey 04:35.1
Sam Pensler – Zoic/Zerode/Hawk Racing/POC 04:39.5
Ethan Quehl 04:40.6
Justin Gregory 04:46.5
Will O’Brien – East Coast Gravity Pros 04:47.1
Matthew Fitzgerald 04:48.1
Ryan Taylor – Team BGB-Mountain Khakis 04:48.8
Kyle Grau – Santa Cruz 04:50.1
Rae Gandolf – Team TRD Edge Intense 05:46.3
Amy Leishear – Spoke Apparel 06:04.1
Shout out to Snowshoe Resort, the trail crew, the Ride Patrol, the volunteers for a great round two of three. Be sure pencil into your schedule the Chomolungma Challenge August 25, the GES (Gravity East) round September 8-9, and finally, the third and final round of the Snowshoe Series September 22-23. More info can the remainder of the 2012 race schedule can be found here: http://ride.snowshoemtn.com/races/2012-schedule/index.htm
Source: Dirt Passion (www.dirtpassion.com)