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https://www.usacycling.org/events/national-championships/2019-mtb-nat-champs

How is it looking in Winter Park? Too early to start the chatter?

We have some friends going out to ride in the Junior XC categories, so the excitement is building.

Looks like 43 signed up in the Men's Pro, 24 in the Women's Pro.

Kate not on the list, Chloe W not on the list.

Looks like Chris B, Keegan S back from Europe.

Junior Cat 1/2 men age 17/18 looks like a jail break with 122 signed up. 15/16 men same thing with 126 toeing the line.

Any insight into course conditions?

Any predictions?
 

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Looks like I'm in the largest Masters Cat 1 starting group! 40 racers in the 50-54

Large percentage of the group are Colorado people, and my highest elevation race has been 6500', so my expectations aren't high.

But it'll be a nice vacation for my wife and I. Never been to the mountains in that area of the country.
 
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It's been pretty wet this year (not just from the snow) so things could be decent. A fair amount of out of state people signed up for this weekends local series so that's neat.

Ponch, I'll bet you'll be fine as you already know what you can/can't do up high but expect some knuckleheads from sea-level to go out as if they've been shot from a cannon and then explode shortly thereafter.

I like the riding in WP but Summit County is leaps better (jmo) and if ya have the time take an hour drive over that way as things are clearing up nicely (for the most part).
 

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expect some knuckleheads from sea-level to go out as if they've been shot from a cannon and then explode shortly thereafter.
Is that frowned upon? I'm going for the first Lap Prem.

I'll be up there all week so my wife can defend her her title. I'll be trying not to get lapped. USAC has me projected for podium which is laughable!

I'm bringing my Top Fuel since I am also racing Dual Slalom. This looks like a good hardtail course from what I have seen?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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It's been pretty wet this year (not just from the snow) so things could be decent. A fair amount of out of state people signed up for this weekends local series so that's neat.

Ponch, I'll bet you'll be fine as you already know what you can/can't do up high but expect some knuckleheads from sea-level to go out as if they've been shot from a cannon and then explode shortly thereafter.

I like the riding in WP but Summit County is leaps better (jmo) and if ya have the time take an hour drive over that way as things are clearing up nicely (for the most part).
Hey thanks for the intel!

Yeah, at Sun Valley Nationals they shot out like a cannon as well and I was thinking, man I'm getting last place.....then they all hit a wall. Luckily I never had much trouble with elevation, even when I first moved to Utah.

If there's one Alpine ride you can recommend on the way back to SLC, what would it be? Not too far out of the way though.
 

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Hey thanks for the intel!

Yeah, at Sun Valley Nationals they shot out like a cannon as well and I was thinking, man I'm getting last place.....then they all hit a wall. Luckily I never had much trouble with elevation, even when I first moved to Utah.

If there's one Alpine ride you can recommend on the way back to SLC, what would it be? Not too far out of the way though.
Crested Butte 401. Absolutely incredible views.
 

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Crested Butte 401. Absolutely incredible views.
Is 401 even open yet? It seems to be taking ages for the snow to clear off Schofield. If anyone manages to make their way to CB, and are nationals fit, then I'll add Doctor Park (do the loop) and Reno-Flag-Bear-Deadman to this list. All 3 of those are world class and very different from each other.

I'm looking at the course maps here: https://ridewithgps.com/events/9385...untain-bike-nationals#routes/30308742/preview

The schedule shows that there's an amateur XC course, and a pro course, but I can't seem to find a different map for either. So, are they both the same?
 

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Rebecca Gross has go pro footage out of the course on her social media if people are interested. I haven't heard much excitement about this course from locals.

Apparently I'm in the largest cat 1 women's field (35-39), which I suppose is cool! And the women's cat 1 short track had 54 or so last time I looked. I'm only racing because it's so close, and don't have any expectations but to finish. There's several pros that downgraded to cat 1 to race masters, so I know a podium won't happen for me as I'm taking the "barely riding my bike" approach to this summer until it's time to train for cross.

I'm also being silly and racing my local series on Tuesday night (hoping for a series overall podium in open women so really don't want to miss it), XC on Friday AM in Winter Park, driving back to Laramie to race the Laramie Enduro (Laramie Range Epic now since they changed the name) half course on Saturday, and driving back to Winter Park on Sunday for short track. I pretty much made my own stage race out of the weekend apparently.
 

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https://www.usacycling.org/events/national-championships/2019-mtb-nat-champs

How is it looking in Winter Park? Too early to start the chatter?

We have some friends going out to ride in the Junior XC categories, so the excitement is building.

Looks like 43 signed up in the Men's Pro, 24 in the Women's Pro.

Kate not on the list, Chloe W not on the list.
Chloe just posted on facebook that she skipped the last 2 UCI World Cup events to focus on USA nationals. I don't know about Kate
 
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Crested Butte 401. Absolutely incredible views.
last I'd heard it wasn't open and it's quite a ways off his path home. It's a great ride if you've never done it though. I probably hit it every other year and link it with some other stuffs.

What sucks is that a lot of the really convenient stuff likely won't be good yet (Jones Pass from the mine or from Berthoud pass for example, two elks i've heard is close but lotsa muck towards shrine pass).

I've been hearing stuff in Steamboat is clearing up well and that may be easier for your drive back

Let's see what the reports are over the weekend.
 
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so yeah, the course today was allegedly the first 4-5 miles of the Nats course. if so, it'll be interesting as there's a pretty short grunt (~1min) up the dirt road to a sharp lefthand onto some single track. after that it opens up a little before continuing up on tight-ish single track with a few decent places for passing. All told the initial climb is about 1.5 miles (~10min +/-) before descending on some technical-ish twisty single track that eventually becomes bermed (and seemed to me to lack flow but I was also on the rivet and ya probably know how that works :) )

No idea where the rest of the nationals course goes and how it loops back but it seems you'll have your work cut out for you. eeek

anyhow finished my day a bit over 20 minutes behind Luke V who was pushed pretty good by Ryan Standish. I can't fathom what it would take to ride that fast but both appear to be on pretty damn good form. Keegels looks pretty damn good too. Should be interesting.
 

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No idea where the rest of the nationals course goes and how it loops back but it seems you'll have your work cut out for you. eeek
Hard righthand u-turn into what feels like a false-flat rooty section for a little while. Actually a really interesting part of the course that rewards efficiency and carrying speed. In general, I'm a fan of the course. Has a very alpine trail feel with a splash of park flow.

That all said, I say Emily's course preview for Canadian nats, and I _really_ want to go ride that track. Looks super fun.
 

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Just got back to town from WP, wow what a great place to visit. As far as my race I got 23rd out of 41 starters which included Travis Brown who finished about half hour ahead haha.

The course was awesome but hard. Jeep road start, to a short single track downhill, then a second jeep road climb. Great way to sort out the group by climbing ability. My only complaint was that it was a bit narrow at start so there was some argy bargy, nearly taking me down twice.

Then it climbed up a single track flow trail. That changed the dynamic with four steep curves to climb......explode, recover, explode, recover, etc (I really liked that section).

Then entered Upper Cherokee DH (a techy loose tight descent in the trees) before opening up to a super fast flow trail to the bottom (lower Cherokee).

The final trail completing the loop (Serenity) wore me down for some reason. It seemed like it was mostly climbing but had repeated changes in grade that really tired my lower back.

The 50-54 did 4 laps and my wife said everyone who came in looked like death, including me. The stronger fast guys were under 2 hours, I was 2:07, so that was a long race for sure. The high elevation also reeked havoc with hydration which gave real bad dry mouth. But thankfully it got shady end of 2nd lap then sprinkled a bit which was absolutely wonderful.

I was so spent I only did a short ride next day. Great trails all over, my favorite being Yankee Doodle climb to Arrow downhill. Overall it was an excellent run event. If you're thinking of doing a national this is a great place to go.

Oh here's a good video of race course:
 

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I survived my crazy weekend as well! I ended up really enjoying the course, but I agree with you, Poncharelli, that Serenity trail was anything but serene... that is where I struggled the most during my race. I made up a lot of ground on the Cherokee descents. I was expecting a dead last finish, raced up as high as 7th, and settled in for 10th in the end, which I am more than pleased about! I for sure had an advantage over some people with being from high altitude, but the hot sun on the fire road climb really did a number on me, I might rethink the black skinsuit for next year if it's sunny. Definitely got me amped up for next year as I know what type of climbing to train for, and continue to hone in on my descending skills since that is where my strength lies.

I struggled through the Laramie Range Epic (aka the Laramie Enduro), limping over 31 miles for a 5th place on Saturday. That left my tank completely empty for short track on Sunday. I was sad about being completely dead, as the short track course would have suited me well on a normal day. Still limped it in for 19th, which wasn't last place, so I'll take that.

This was my 3rd MTB nationals being part of (and 6th national championship overall), and it was the best ran and most organized in my opinion. And the XC course was way better than I was expecting.
 

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Two local kids got first place in their respective Cat 1 groups. Both live at sea level.

The local girl who won the 19-24 is the younger sister of the former U23 24 Hour World Champ. Good genes in that family! (friends of mine)
 

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Nice write up. What a privilege to be able to race with Travis and Don Myrah. I'm a roadie who only MTBs on recovery or easy days. I know my limits. Climb well, hold on on the descents and PLF on the flat sections.

Just jumped into the race because I live in CO. Had no ambitions other than to enjoy the experience and stay out of the way.

Had to stop on my first lap to get over some asthma issues. Let all the other fields go by. Sometime on lap 2 my lungs opened up and I went a lot quicker. Temp decrease helped a lot. Need to set up my bike a bit better as I was getting bounced around way too much on the descents.

Was bit disappointed that I din't go faster on serenity, should have suited me but I just never built up any momentum.

I know what I need to practice now. Guys I am normally neck-and-neck with on local practice races were several mins faster per lap. All in tech skills.

Was probably the only person in the race who ran a negative split per lap.

Had a great experience anyway. Was totally whupped for two days afterwards. Hopefully it'll come back next year and I'll be a bit more competitive.
 
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