I managed to not once play John Denver’s famed song on the drive to Snowshoe. I think that’s impressive! After a few days leap-frogging down from MSA to West Virginia, I was ready to see what Sean Leader and co. had created for the final round of the World Cup. To say the track is scenic would not do any justice to how exceptional the views are, in all directions. We are in the middle of nowhere, in a good way.
This is the first American round since Windham in 2015, which is just cool for the sport, as it continues to add variety to the circuit, especially with a whole new track. Snowshoe is now the 10th different World Cup to be held State-side, adding it’s name along side a list of legendary tracks: Vail, Massanutten, Big Bear, Snoqualmie, Sqaw, Durango, Telluride, Angel Fire, and Windham. In the NORBA days, this Appalachian track was a hotbed for wild racing, with the world’s best frequenting the mountain, back when the American national series was rivaling the World Cup in prestige (it’s last NORBA race was 2005, Mick Hannah won the Men’s DH, and I cannot find Women’s DH results anywhere… typical).
Track Walk thoughts: the track looks rowdy, super rough, and will require a lot of precision. It looks brutal and unforgiving top to bottom, it certainly is of World Cup caliber, there is no doubt about that. I walked with the Commencal USA crew, including last year’s Women’s National Champ, Sam Soriano, who won those stripes on 2/3s of the track, her commentary suggesting that while there are fewer rocks, it’s looking eroded and rutted badly from heavy weather. The reshaping/addition of a few jumps will add some “Wow Factor” and a keep things fun in between the several rock gardens and rough connectors.
Practice kicks off in the AM, hope y’all brought tire inserts and extra wheels.