Out of the gate and straight into full-send mode, this track is a beast. Speeds are high, the in-between is super rough, and the rocks are definitely a no-fall-zone. The grand separators between the tape are the monster gaps which are giving the World’s best a moment of pause, most notably the rock transfer – it’s a sight to behold and a serious mental move… it’s buttery, but anytime you’re way up off the deck and the landing is a van-sized boulder, apprehension is understandable. Tahnée is allegedly the only woman to send it, getting towed in by Kade – I missed that moment unfortunately!
Practice was fun to shoot and wild to watch, riders were definitely getting into the groove once things started to dry up a smidge. The grease never fully disappeared, coating the rocks lower down in a light layer of clay and creating some havoc in the flatter corners dispersed throughout the woods. The unrelenting nature of the track is showing itself in the form of riders stopping all over the place, pull up to have a closer look as lines burned in further and also to just chill for a moment. Riding at half-pace can be done, but it’s better not to and just commit to riding faster – a lot of the rough stuff bogs down at lower speeds creating an momentum-centered challenge.
When Timed Training started, the usual suspects began to turn up the heat, showing their hands a little bit and giving us all a clinic in rhythm and timing. Precise riding is a must, not only to keep speed, but also due to the nature of a lot of the track being immovable rock. With Snowshoe being the last round, I’m curious to see who is going to push for a result, as well as how the top riders in points manage their positions, as a conservative run is hard to even execute, though a flat-out run is also a little dicey. The track is a proper test of rider and bike, the next few days will continue to be wild!