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  1. #1
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    2019 Downieville Classic Reports

    Let's hear em. Looks like a huge success.

    Downieville Classic Race Results

    RJ2, Rox, Amanda and Emma from MBOSC did well for sure!!

    Photo by DonP
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2019 Downieville Classic Reports-67751580_10206253559335911_8432607242708058112_o.jpg  

    IPA will save America

  2. #2
    Ride More - Suffer Less
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    All I know is the bar needs a Hooligan expansion room.

  3. #3
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    I am so confused. There has been a downhill race all these years (like there was in the 2000s? I thought there was XC race or an All-MTN (DH which includes the XC stage). Am I mid-reading the Results linked above?

    Nevermind I think I figured it out.

  4. #4
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    I hit the XC race on Sat and had a great day. Still my favorite bike race of the year, by far. I managed a few minute PR with about 5 minutes of mechanicals.....which I was happy with.

    Punctured a rear tire on first divide when I was flailing my way home. Pretty sure I just jammed it into a sharp rock. It sealed up after a few minutes and a blast of Co2 - at least enough to get me home - but cost a few spots.

    Still a really fun day. I thought the Yeti SB100 was pretty perfect for the XC race.
    Previously known as mttamrnr.

  5. #5
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    Mid pack expert 40+. Always a fun race. Hard as usual. The Gold Rim Trail adds a decent amount of time and that extra little bit of suffer. Need to go back and race it when I'm in a little better shape.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by darth tracer View Post
    Mid pack expert 40+. Always a fun race. Hard as usual. The Gold Rim Trail adds a decent amount of time and that extra little bit of suffer. Need to go back and race it when I'm in a little better shape.
    Great job. Midpack Expert is a noble and honorable outcome, especially in a race like this.

  7. #7
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    I raced the XC course for the first time. Squeezed out 6th place in Menís Sport 30 under

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    2019 Downieville Classic Reports-dsc_0168.jpg

    2019 Downieville Classic Reports-dsc_0019.jpg
    I'm the problem....

  10. #10
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    Some dude on a porky bike and the guy that won it all.
    I'm the problem....

  11. #11
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    why no pics of me mtbrdan?

    I felt like crap all week but woke up saturday morning feeling pretty good. this is my 8th dville all mountain* but first on the new longer course. I tried a couple new tactics which were riding the light bike instead of a more capable downhill rig, and taking the initial climb just a bit slower so I could put in the work to carry speed on gold valley rim and first divide. between that and my new age group I pulled out my first top 10 finishes which combined for a 7th in all mountain expert.

    I had a "moment" where I was coming in hot to the tiny creek crossing right before pauley and somehow both my feet ejected from the pedals. I'm now still hanging on to the bars but both my feet are dragging behind the bike while my taint is buzzing squarely on the tire. I guess its a good thing I ran a semi slick since I managed to bring the bike to a quick stop without going down. I then picked it up and ran across the creek and up that steep hill and amazingly I could still sit down after

    * I registered and showed up in 2018 but called it off due to smoke

  12. #12
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    Cool pic, Dan! I managed 15th place out of 86 in Cat1 age group (41-50)Ö on a hardtail fatbike. Only chance I had was on the climbs, so it would seem, but starting behind several hundred slower climbers was not a great strategy; I think next year I need to find my way toward the front before the race starts if I ever want to see a top ten finish. My race time was 2:49, a mere 19 minutes behind the first place winning time. Hardest XC Iíve done so far, but most fun course!!!
    Last edited by Leopold Porkstacker; 08-09-2019 at 09:13 AM.
    Donít frail and blow if youíre going to Braille and Flow.

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    Was looking at doing it this year but never signed up. Quick question. The flyer said must be at Packer Saddle by 12 otherwise DQd. How many mile and feet of climbing is that. Iíve heard the Trail of Tears is no joke

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vin829 View Post
    Was looking at doing it this year but never signed up. Quick question. The flyer said must be at Packer Saddle by 12 otherwise DQd. How many mile and feet of climbing is that. Iíve heard the Trail of Tears is no joke
    My friend did it and was NOT a good climber. He made it and was one of the last finishers. He gave me a priceless look at the finish line because i had encouraged him to do the race sight-unseen. The climb was the "Worst MTB experience he'd ever had" He insisted on the all mtn because he said he wasn't a 'downhiller'. This was back when you could do the DH as a standalone event. I enjoyed the DH very much as always but I have never shed a tear on that mountain. I just might if by some miracle I can get a spot in the reg frenzy. Someone will chime in with metrics shortly.

  15. #15
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    It's a bit more than 10 miles and 3,200 feet of climbing.
    Previously known as mttamrnr.

  16. #16
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    I haven't raced this since 2013. I wanted to see how the "new" course was. I thought it made for an even better course than the old route. This was my first year in Exp 51-60, and we started 5 minutes after a HUGE wave of younger Expert racers. I was surprised by how much traffic I experienced from the PCT to the bottom. But despite the traffic and frustrating slowdowns, and I beat my sub-3 hour goal by over 4 minutes, good enough for 10th. Most importantly, zero mechanicals!

    Kudos to the organizers and the huge number of volunteers it takes to pull this off!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by etuck View Post
    It's a bit more than 10 miles and 3,200 feet of climbing.
    The last group left the line at 9:50. That gives them just over 2 hours to do 10 miles and 3200 feet? Thatís rough.

  18. #18
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    Sandbagger Award

    One nice thing about Downieville XC is the relative lack of sandbagging. However, on a point-to-point course like this, it is pretty easy to see who signed up for the wrong category, based on times. IMHO, no Sport category racers should be able to break the 3 hour mark. Beginners probably shouldn't be sniffing the south side of 3:25. Here are this year's bags 'o sand:

    #1 Ian Lopez rocked a 2:41:30 in Sport Jr. Men 13-18... "winning" by 28 minutes

    #2 George Muldoon knocked out a 2:55 in Sport 31-40, beating...

    #3 .....Benjamin Sanders in the same category by 38 seconds (2:56).

    #4 Aram Casparian "won" the Sport 41-50 class with a 2:57.

    #5 Austin Griffith's (Beginner 31-40) 3:07 was a 32 minute "victory"

    #6 Erick Olson's (Beginner 41+) 3:04 would have put him at 2nd place on the Sport 41+ podium

    2019 Downieville Classic Reports-sandbag-winner.jpg

    If I were on the DVC competition committee, these gentlemen would forfeit their awards to those who signed up for the appropriate CAT and were bumped off the podium, as per a sportsmanship rule everyone signed upon registering.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    One nice thing about Downieville XC is the relative lack of sandbagging. However, on a point-to-point course like this, it is pretty easy to see who signed up for the wrong category, based on times. IMHO, no Sport category racers should be able to break the 3 hour mark. Beginners probably shouldn't be sniffing the south side of 3:25. Here are this year's bags 'o sand:

    #1 Ian Lopez rocked a 2:41:30 in Sport Jr. Men 13-18... "winning" by 28 minutes

    #2 George Muldoon knocked out a 2:55 in Sport 31-40, beating...

    #3 .....Benjamin Sanders in the same category by 38 seconds (2:56).

    #4 Aram Casparian "won" the Sport 41-50 class with a 2:57.

    #5 Austin Griffith's (Beginner 31-40) 3:07 was a 32 minute "victory"

    #6 Erick Olson's (Beginner 41+) 3:04 would have put him at 2nd place on the Sport 41+ podium

    Click image for larger version. 

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    If I were on the DVC competition committee, these gentlemen would forfeit their awards to those who signed up for the appropriate CAT and were bumped off the podium, as per a sportsmanship rule everyone signed upon registering.
    Issues in Beginner Cat aren't much of an issue because no one should really remain in Beginner after the have Begun their racing career, no matter how slow they are in Sport. You are always going to get a first-time racer who didn't realize how strong they were and smoked the Beg/Cat3 field. No one should really be proud of results in Beg/Cat3, but there are people who remain there collecting (hollow, ignoble) tin. I never felt that Cat 3 was a place to dwell, but a safe space for new racers to see how they stack up by looking at times after their first race and moving into an appropriate Cat. OK a couple Beginner races are OK I suppose.
    In a grassroots DH series I participate in, if you win your cat by more that XX seconds, you get bumped up into the next cat. I'm not even going to get into Experts in Cat2 but bags of sand are everywhere.

  20. #20
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    Nice work yall! Some solid times. 4th time riding the Classic for me.

    Last year, my twin daughters remarked to my wife and the other wives cheering that "only dads ride Downieville and mamas can't" because this, for their 5 year-old brains, was their only experience.

    Hearing this, my wife said, "aww hell nah, fuc dat", bought her first mountain bike, and soft-pedaled a commitment to race the Classic this year. Her bday was May, so of course her "present" was me signing her up for the race. "Wow. . . [shits 3 bricks] Thanks babe." But she loves a challenge and doesn't back down. Eye of the Tiger seems to come on every time she walks into a room.

    There was a lot of swearing and "wtf did I sign up for??" as we rode increasingly technical trails in prep for the race. We managed to get one shuttle lap in at Downieville before the race. She walked down. A lot. Like a lot a lot. Like, is she actually gonna do this? Damn, that's a lot of walking.

    On race day, she was shittin bricks. But Eye of the Tiger came on, and crush-mode engaged. The climb was a breeze for her, and then she slowrolled the dh with no problems. Well, except for all the people passing her on the downs that she passed on the ups. haha. Still, good enough for 2nd on the podium LOL. 1st race, 1st podium. Nice work mama!



    My story is less rad. I bonked out with some debilitating leg cramps (like, forced off the bike multiple times in screeching agony) and ended up with my slowest time in a couple years - 3:32, "good" for 91st in Expert 31-40. Back to Sport I go!

    Ha, and then my buddy left his keys in his backpack which his son took, so we were marooned at our car in Sierra City, with 4 humans and 4 bikes, no way to contact the rest of our crew, and after a full day of blasting. So then we were hitchhiking all over Sierra City, Bassetts, Packer, with bikes and a whole lotta Downie-stank. But it was no worries because the Lost Sierra is gawdamn magical.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    Issues in Beginner Cat aren't much of an issue because no one should really remain in Beginner after the have Begun their racing career, no matter how slow they are in Sport. You are always going to get a first-time racer who didn't realize how strong they were and smoked the Beg/Cat3 field. No one should really be proud of results in Beg/Cat3, but there are people who remain there collecting (hollow, ignoble) tin. I never felt that Cat 3 was a place to dwell, but a safe space for new racers to see how they stack up by looking at times after their first race and moving into an appropriate Cat. OK a couple Beginner races are OK I suppose.
    In a grassroots DH series I participate in, if you win your cat by more that XX seconds, you get bumped up into the next cat. I'm not even going to get into Experts in Cat2 but bags of sand are everywhere.
    An interesting way to prevent sandbagging would be to divide the classes after the race based on standard deviation from the mean finish time.

  22. #22
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    Cool story meter-man. Won't be long before you're signing up the twins for the race

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    IMHO, no Sport category racers should be able to break the 3 hour mark. Beginners probably shouldn't be sniffing the south side of 3:25.
    thats just like your dumb opinion and is totally arbitrary. people sign up for the category they think they belong in. no one is really dropping down because of some desire to win. if people win consistently or by a lot they will upgrade. no one is getting paid or getting a pro contract off this, its all just for fun...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by rox View Post
    thats just like your dumb opinion and is totally arbitrary. people sign up for the category they think they belong in. no one is really dropping down because of some desire to win. if people win consistently or by a lot they will upgrade. no one is getting paid or getting a pro contract off this, its all just for fun...
    I don't completely agree with your assessment (since we all know sandbagging is an issue in MTB XC racing, primarily because people's desire to win), but what if in the registration process (for the current course), it said something like "Pick your category wisely. If you sign up for Sport and you break 3 hours, you will be penalized the difference, plus 5 minutes. Ditto for Beginner."?

    I dunno... maybe ask Nathan Cohen and Aaron Spindell (Sport 31-40) how they feel about missing the podium to 2 sandbaggers that threw down Expert category times? How would 1st and 2nd in 31-40 Sport feel if Shane Collins, David Mongen and Scott Deurr signed up for Sport 31-40 instead of Expert 31-40? Those 3 weren't remotely close to the Expert podium, but they would have taken the Sport podium. https://timeyourrace.com/Downieville...ps460.htm#2615

    Note: In my world, I don't think of beginner/sport/expert as a basis for my fitness as much as I base it on my skills/experience. If I've never raced and have no idea how I'd place in a race, I'd probably race beginner. (With that said, I have NO IDEA why a brutal race like Downieville has a Beginner CAT). If I've "graduated" from Beginner after a couple races and finished well (i.e., I'm no longer a first time racer), I race Sport. If I subsequently beat my field in one or two well enough attended Sport races, I move up to Expert (especially if it is obvious I have the fitness and bike handling skills that are beyond "intermediate level")

    I love meter-man's race report, but I don't get the "Back to Sport I go!" part. Sport and Expert ride the same exact course. A 3:32 in Sport wouldn't sniff the Sport podium this year, so is it about fun or best placement? I do admit that in my mind, it would be shameful sportsmanship-wise for a Sport racer to drop down to Beginner, just as it would be for an Expert to race Sport... especially if such a move landed one on a podium.

    But I know my views aren't helping grow XC racing. Sandbagging is good for business... just not for those who get bumped from the podium cause other people basically won't race if they don't "win".

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    I dunno... maybe ask Nathan Cohen and Aaron Spindell (Sport 31-40) how they feel about missing the podium to 2 sandbaggers that threw down Expert category times?
    Hi I'm Aaron Spindell and I'm okay with it.

    My friends upon seeing my results said I was sandbagging, even though there were 4 heavier bags of sand that finished before me in my age group category. I'll be racing expert next time. I probably won't have to deal with passing so many slow climbers and descenders ( showed up early to the start to get near the front, but the front line up moved and I walked though the backyard of that house and ended up in the back of the line up)

    I took a few years off from MTB racing but started up again this year with some midweek short track XC, no real big weekend xc racing though. I was a little out of shape despite the fast climbing. More training might have helped me not start cramping at the Baby Heads aid station. Even with more training, less traffic, I would probably still be mid-pack in expert.

    The important part was I had fun, what kind of podium goodies did I really miss out on?

  26. #26
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    My first race ever was the Napa Valley Dirt Classic back in 2011, as per the recommendation of JL (Mensoís dad), since he was convinced that somehow I had a competitive nature about me. Apprehensive, I signed up for beginner (Cat3) XCÖ only to WIN by SIX MINUTES. I immediately catted up to Cat2 (intermediate), and at the beginning of 2015 I upgraded to the pukefest known as Cat1 (expert).

    I understand peopleís concerns about not being properly catted, but letís hope the sub-3 hour dudes will cat up their next race; itís not like a pro-level athlete racing CCCX XC and then catting down to Cat1 for Sea Otter, that would be lame and retarded.
    Donít frail and blow if youíre going to Braille and Flow.

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    Generally speaking, who should race expert? And who should race sport? I'm not looking for specific times, but more a general description.

    For me, I have only done 4 races. Last year, my time was mid-pack for expert, so I signed up for expert. That was the extent of my logic.

    ETA: NM, this a good description: https://www.californiaenduroseries.c...al-categories/

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by meter-man View Post
    Generally speaking, who should race expert? And who should race sport? I'm not looking for specific times, but more a general description.

    For me, I have only done 4 races. Last year, my time was mid-pack for expert, so I signed up for expert. That was the extent of my logic.

    ETA: NM, this a good description: https://www.californiaenduroseries.c...al-categories/
    You belong in Expert.

  29. #29
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    I think more races should just be Men or Women then age group appropriately. Add in a Pro class and call it a day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darth tracer View Post
    I think more races should just be Men or Women then age group appropriately. Add in a Pro class and call it a day.
    I think that would discourage a lot of would-be racers. In Downhill, Experts and Pros ride more difficult courses and often ride additional stages in Enduro. The fast guys don't want to have to pass beginners- it's not safe - and the newcomers don't want to get smoked by Type-A jerks.

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    Iím thinking if you throw down a time that puts you in the top 5 (or 10?) of the category above the one you entered you should get an automatic upgrade.
    Sandbaggers suck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DH40 View Post
    I think that would discourage a lot of would-be racers. In Downhill, Experts and Pros ride more difficult courses and often ride additional stages in Enduro. The fast guys don't want to have to pass beginners- it's not safe - and the newcomers don't want to get smoked by Type-A jerks.
    This is why I stick with unsanctioned night time DH.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripn View Post
    Iím thinking if you throw down a time that puts you in the top 5 (or 10?) of the category above the one you entered you should get an automatic upgrade.
    Sandbaggers suck.
    Would be nice to have some sort of qualifying runs similar to many forms of motorsport.
    Donít frail and blow if youíre going to Braille and Flow.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker View Post
    Would be nice to have some sort of qualifying runs similar to many forms of motorsport.
    Top-level DH and all Dual Slalom uses qualis and you could say that XC short track is quali. Festival and one-off races, though, I can't see that happening. I think DV is pretty perfect as it is. NORBA used to be pretty strict about enforcing advancement if I remember correctly.

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    I havenít raced in years, used to race DH then had kids. Would like to race enduro but my kids are older now and their sports schedules donít line up with the enduro format of practice Friday, race Saturday. Still manage to ride 2-3 times a week but doesnít match up with the CES schedule.

    The CES skill level description is pretty accurate. Having said that, I donít think true beginners should be racing, at least not DH or Enduro. They should be out riding and working on their bike handling skills. You really shouldnít be racing if you are truly learning how to corner, walking sections of the course, and not comfortable with smaller jumps/drops. You will just end up crashing all over the place trying to ride at race pace or go so slow you end up getting in everyone elseís way. Why enter a race if you can barely get down the mountain? Doesnít make any sense...

    So do way with the beginner class and keep the age groups. Then have Pro/Open for the super fast guys and gals. Expert for the guys that think they are fast but get smoked by pros and sport for everyone else.

    Also, where is the shame and ridicule for those that sandbag that bad? Everyone realistically knows how they stack up from riding with buddies and Strava these days. Iíve never raced enduro so technically I could race beginner or sport but my friends would never let me hear the end of it if I didnít race expert. Automatic bump into the next class up for top 5 results in the above class makes sense as well.

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    father/son tandem team here.
    We trimmed off 33 minutes from last years off-the-couch-last-minute-transfer time to just crack 4 hrs (my stretch goal). We lost 9 minutes due to me cramping, which puts us only 43 minutes off Scott & Amanda's tandem record(?) from last year. My stoker is only 11.5, so I figure I've got at least a couple years before I cut him loose against the 13-18 yo class. Which is all to say, if I actually train seriously, and he gets 20 minutes faster each year, we can make a run for the record in a couple years.

    We also raced the DH and started smack-dab in the middle of expert men 30-39. Pressure was on. We made it just past top of 3rd divide when we flatted. Up until then, we'd only been caught by 3 racers, so I feel like we did OK. Assuming the same time from 3rd divide as the day before, we were on pace for 1:03.

    All-in-all a fantastic weekend and I can hardly wait for next year.

    Also I loosely know Aram C. We ran into him at the finish and he seemed pretty surprised at his podium.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by rox View Post
    thats just like your dumb opinion and is totally arbitrary. people sign up for the category they think they belong in. no one is really dropping down because of some desire to win. if people win consistently or by a lot they will upgrade. no one is getting paid or getting a pro contract off this, its all just for fun...
    The following year after a 2nd place beginner finish at the Napa Valley Dirt Classic, I upgraded. But the guy who won my cat lined up as a beginner again, and the year after that. I called him on it both times. I also razz beginner men on the podium with shaved legs.
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  38. #38
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    As per normal pre-race routine, I rode new tires and hadn't ridden anything remotely like DV in two years. That skills class I took with Ian Massey came in handy on the PCT reroute. Much more relaxed this year. That trail is hard to ride, I can't image how you hiked that with all those ankle-twisting rocks.

    Ardent front (2.2) and Ardent Race (2.35) with EXO sidewalls were great. Didn't feel slow on the climbs and had plenty of traction and confidence on the downs.

    My stretch goal was 3 hours and I finished in 3:30 for a solid 7th place in Sport 51+. Strava lies as it told me it was easier than my usual efforts.

    We thought the river jumps could be another all-mountain stage. The winners would get a time bonus.

    Bonus: I visited the Shimano booth and showed the rep my well-used leaking brake levers with lots of pivot play. After a few minutes of discussing just how much these were loved and crashed, he gave me a new set of levers. Also got some great servicing tips. Amazing support!

    2019 Downieville Classic Reports-1-981-zf-1513-10106-1-001-copy.jpg
    We take care of your technology needs so you can focus on what's important.

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    laksboy, that was awesome. I met you (and your son) this year - so rad! Unreal you can ride that course on a tandem. You must have some skiiillllzzzzzz

    rj2, nice work!

    This made me feel a little better:

    Duncan Riffle
    So evidently a few of us checked into Cramp Hotel this weekend - I didnít sign up for it but I sure found myself there. The XC was brutal - Iíve never cramped like that in my entire career of racing. Never. Full leg lock - I battled it from the middle of the XC race - weíre talking on and off the bike, peg leg walking uphills and eventually realizing you are just trying to get to the finish - which is a whole different game plan than trying to win the race like in previous years. When you set out on the start line you say to yourself: ďOk I got this!Ē And then you donít got this. But that is also the amazing thing about this race.


    The downhill was going decent - according to plan - trying to be mature and not blowing everything in the beginning like I usually do. All my successful years here Iíve been mellow in the beginning and then unloaded at the bottom when people forget thereís still a lot more racing to do. And then I decided to take one of the scariest sections to me - the one that wakes me up in the middle of the night before race day - waking up thinking that would really, really suck if I went off there. In my ten years racing here this was the year I clipped the bar and a second later I found myself like Cliffhanger on the side of the cliff. I was still in race mode and I scrambled to get going again and then I looked down at the exposure and it was about 50 feet to the creek and I had to do a full check yourself and switch to full-on survival mode and just scramble up the cliff.


    But again thatís the best part about this race is that it really levels people out. It's a unique thing - you think you come in super fit and it can check you and vice versa! It's an awesome event and I truly love it.
    https://www.santacruzbicycles.com/en...QLkPF1hrmSZbS8

  40. #40
    Ride Fast Take Chances :)
    Reputation: alexbn921's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3,212
    The top beginners will always be sandbaggers, just because they won. I was a Sea otter sandbagger because I won Cat 3, even though it was my first ever race. I was not the strongest, 2 road racers where. I wasn't the best descender, a DH guy was. The thing was I was just able to hang onto the road guys without dieing (just barley) and the gifted me the first spot on the last DH because they didn't want me to pass them on it.

    I did a full season 2 years ago with a CCCX Cat 2 overall win and Cat 2 Sea Otter win. It was the best I could ever do. Now if I want to race I would be top-mid cat 2. Should I race Cat 1? I have the points but absolutely no chance.

    Bucket list is to race downieville. Most likely as a mid pack expert.
    Making shit harder than it needs to be isn't awesome, it's just...harder.

  41. #41
    mtb'er
    Reputation: Empty_Beer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,087
    If you only race to have a chance at the podium, you should always sign up for beginner/CAT3... or just stick to Strava

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