Eric here with an update from the Keystone Classic.
Several of us started getting ready for this long Down Hill race the weekend before the race. Since we had a week off Pete, Kazzy, Jesse Townsend & myself all went up to check out the course & get our bikes dialed for the race.
We had a great day & rode a bunch of different trails. We did ride the race course a couple of times & let me tell you it is fast and scary! Toward the end of the day we were getting more & more confident & riding faster & faster. Jesse T. was riding especially well. I dropped in for a run & really put the power down. I was set on leaving him behind but could not get away. Toward the middle of the super fast open ski run section I heard him yelling at me to go faster! That made me even more nervous & I over braked in a corner causing Jesse to have to slam on the brakes making him to go down hard. He got cut all over through 2 layers of cloths in several spots & even cut his head somehow through his helmet.During practice on the actual race weekend Jesse went down again in a strange way not even riding hard. He caught a pedal & hit a tree causing his shoulder to pop out. He just recently recovered his other shoulder from surgery & now he will probably need surgery on the other one. That Stinks for him. Good Luck J.
On the actual day of the race it was extremely hot. We did not have the team rig with our EZ ups & stuff so we had to improvise. In this pic look behind Sara & you will see Blake sitting under a tent rain fly stretched between my truck & Noah's car:)
We had a pretty large crew of Grassroots riders hanging out & riding together this weekend. Not everybody raced but we all had fun. With Jesse T. out that left me Blake, Andrew Templin, Chris Hale, & our adopted redheaded step child Noah Sears.
Starting the day off with the Pro Qualifiers Andrew & I were feeling pretty good. I qualified 13th & andrew 20th in a very fast field. It was weird because the field was smaller than usual but there were a very high concentration of uber fast guys.
Next on course we had Blake Chris & Noah.
Blake had a little crash on the top but recovered to have a pretty clean run at (Time 9:55). He ended up 9th but came out safe & had fun. Blake has not raced much this year & he was a welcome addition.
Actually I see that Jesse Townsend finished 12th out of 14 in his class even though he didn't race:) Ha Ha. Pretty good. ...
I did not see much of Chris but he did a good job finishing 11th in the super fast Cat1 19-29 division. (Time 9:56)
Noah was fighting his drive train all day & only had a couple of gears working. In his race run it locked up & he could not pedal at all. Noah was disappointed but still went very fast placing 6th at (Time 9:33)
For the Pro Finals I was starting to feel the pressure. I was happy with my qualifier but knew I needed to step it up in the finals. I did not practice on Friday & Saturday like I usually do & only came up on Sunday to practice & race all in one day. I had a secrete weapon though in that I was using very light & fast rolling All Mountain Tires. This was a calculated risk & I had a game plan to ride all the safe main lines through the rock gardens. It was feeling really fast in practice & my qualifier but in my run I got excited and charged the faster but way rougher outside line through the top rock garden flatting my rear tire. I felt very silly for braking my game plan & regret it.
Andrew Templin had a great final run in the Men's Pro division. Shaving 5 seconds off his qualifying run & placing 23rd with a (Time 8:56)! I really enjoy riding with Andrew & he is really coming along.
There you happy Knepper?