Tuesday, March 2, 2010
2010 Clemson Downhill
It's on! This past weekend, SEI officially kicked off it's 2010 season with the annual Clemson Downhill race in Clemson SC. I'm always amazed at what the Clemson University Freeride Club has been able to do with that old anthill they race on. They've been able to create one of the most entertaining races in the South East with very little elevation to work with. They are extremely passionate about what they are doing and it really comes through to anyone who's ever raced that track.
This past weekend was one of the warmest we've had in several weeks and the track was in perfect condition making for some fast racing. It was cool to see so many people show up also. There were over 160 racers there (record number) and there were over 50 people in the pro class alone. Our new man, Andrew Mueller was pinning it all day long but had some bad luck in his race run and pulled a 27h place finish with a time of 1:40.5. Jeremy Raney put in a Solid 15th place finish with 1:36.4..
For me, I turned in a first run that I felt was fast but conservative. Due to a timing glitch, I didn't find out my first run time before I went up for my second run but I knew that I could most likely improve upon whatever I'd posted. I felt comfortable going into my first run but about 1/4 of the way down, I heard that gut-wrenching sound of my chain snapping and grinding around through my gears so I had to coast out the rest of my second run and live with my first run time of 1:35.6. That's racing! I had decided to run my hardtail the previous day due to the fact that the course just wasn't steep enough to warrant the use of my downhill bike. I think it was a good decision as I felt much faster. Any way it turned out, it was a great start for the season and I can't wait for things to get into full swing when the cold goes away!