Oh yeah! We rocked it out in the 100+ degree heat index on Saturday, June 26. However, the brutal heat did take a toll on us, but we overcame. It was a bone rattling and lung popping course at Quantico Marine Base. I partnered up with my expert riding buddy, Chris Cunningham, of Bike Factory Racing. I knew we would be vying for a podium spot if we kept ourselves together and avoided mechanicals. We led for the first 60+ miles on the 10 mile lap course with trails aptly named like, “Ambush Alley” and “Heartbreak Ridge”. We sure felt ambushed at times and our hearts wanted to explode for sure.
Chris led us out with a Le Mans start and put us in a good position for the rest of the day. Overall, I rode well and was very pleased with my conditioning. I feel like I’m ready for the Trans Alp and where I need to be in regards to my conditioning. Chris had some cramps on the 7th lap and I did a double to keep us moving. Chris recovered and was able to drive home a solid 10th lap. That allowed me to seal the deal for second with an 11th lap. I was able to avoid cramping, which is amazing. I credit some of that to the super volunteers out on the course as I had them dump water on me routinely. I have been suffering this year from the uncharacteristically hot and humid weather here in Virginia. I threw down our fastest laps at the beginning, which felt great.
I did this all on the Sette Phantom. I can’t say enough about how well the Phantom performed. This course was concocted of punchy hills, washouts, ruts, roots and sand. The Phantom handled all of the chatter on the downhills and powered up the hills. The course was a 10 mile lap with around 1500 feet of elevation gain. In other words, you’re always working and coasting isn’t an option. The Phantom will surely be ready for the Trans Alp. EX 2 as always put on a stellar race and it was a joy to be a part of their mayhem. Chris rocked and I look forward to racing with him again. Our support team was AWESOME. Trevor and Mr. Cunningham, Chris’s father, were always ready and had us up to date on our standings. They kept us cool, hydrated and fed. Thanks to them, we kept rolling out good laps, which resulted in a solid podium finish. The competition was stellar and I would want it no other way. The trails at Quantico were fun and challenging. The highlight was the battle between 1st and 2nd. We had fun pushing each other and having some laughs. All in all, we covered a 110 miles in over 11 hours with around 16000+ feet of climbing. Not bad!
Trevor made it out on course to get some photos and he is to be credited with the ones presented in this writeup.
Now it is time to start packing and perform maintenance rides over the next 2 weeks for the Trans Alp Mtb Race in Europe. We have our plane tickets to Zurich. We will catch a train to Fussen and stay in hostels along the way. I have to pull down the bike box and start setting out what I need for this grand journey. Paul and I can’t wait to get there and soak in the mountain bike culture that is surely going to be one party not to miss.