Thursday evening after a big workweek rubbing bodies in El Paso, I hopped in the car and drove the 3 hours plus to Albuquerque. I arrived just in time for a short night on the couch at Nina’s house with a 4:45 AM getup to catch an early morning Southwest flight to Cali. All went smoothly and by noon I was retrieved by Jimmy Deaton and Kenny Wehn who had just driven in from Durango with our NoTubes venue setup. My bike and luggage made it on and off the plane with me- always a bonus!
We had an almost full NoTubes Elite Women’s Team roster for the 2nd stop of the pro circuit with Zephanie, Kathy, me and Nina plus 3 of her youngsters from Get Out! Albuquerque, taking their first trip to the big show. We also shared company with NoTubes racer Krista Park and hubby Todd throughout the cool, cloudy and often drizzly weekend. Our sweet new NoTubes EZ Up came in super handy and gave us a venue presence that attracted plenty of folks inquiring about Stan’s wheels, sealant, valves and rim strips. Below is a clip of our sweet setup on race morning.
In a stacked field including the current World Cup Champion, Olympians and current and former National Champions, NoTubes Elite Women toed the line with the best in the world. The climbs were steeper than I’ve ever ridden in a race, especially the long one called the “elevator”. A maximal effort was required just to ascend it, on the bike or off. In a move to make our domestic racers more World Cup ready, US race promoters have worked with the UCI to set out courses in the spectator friendly clover leaf format with a start loop and shorter multiple lap format. Winners will complete the race in approximately one hour thirty or forty minutes; With the 80% rule in effect any racers not traveling the course quickly enough are pulled and given a result indicating how many laps down from the leader he or she finished. At National Championships last July, Katie Compton lapped the whole field in the short track race- officials had to stop pulling riders so there would be a full podium!
In the XC race, NoTubes racers Krista, Zephanie, Kathy, Nina and Shannon finished 11,12,13,18 and 26 respectively, with everyone completing all 4 laps within the 80% time rule. In the short track STXC race, Kathy was 1 step off the podium in 6th, Zeph in 9th, Nina and Shannon in 18th and 19th respectively. We have had a rider 1 step off the podium in both of the first 2 Pro XCT events- I am confident that with a few more races in our legs we will get on the podium!
Highlights of our weekend:
Kenny When getting on the Cat 1 podium for NoTubes Race, driving the rig out to CA, and helping keep our sweet Orbea bicycles clean and dialed. Jimmy Deaton helping us with our most excellent venue presence as MTB Hall of Famer and blast from the past.
Nina’s Get Out! Kids Tiziana and Callum killin’it with a 1st and 2nd in junior categories respectively at their first ever national event.
Jimmy Deaton helping us with our most excellent venue presence as MTB Hall of Famer, blast from the past, wrench and spirit guide.
Awesome weekend, can’t wait to do it again!