Race report from Adam Crews at MTB Nationals in PA:
"Here is an update on MTB nationals.
What a week. First let me say it was really fun and I had a blast. Having said that I wasn't able to finish my race due to a bike failure. It is a bummer but the experience I take away from it is invaluable.
I spent a good week pre-riding the course, which was the most challenging race course I have ever raced. I had expected the course to have plenty of climbing, but had no idea how many rock croppings it would have. On the first day of practicing I spent the first two laps much like a student on the first day of class. The day was spent learning the turns the right lines and to be honest just trying to figure out how to maneuver through the technical sections. The second day I spent more time on getting comfortable on the trail and also adjusting tire pressure and shock pressure.
I forgot to mention PA was experiencing a heat wave this past week. In fact it was warmer in PA than Alabama. I thought that was going to be to my advantage for the race. Friday the day before the race I took one more practice run just to make sure I had everything in order. During the the run, I manage to slip the front tire on one of the technical rock sections and went down on my left side. That resulted in a bruised elbow and a few scrapes. The major blow was to my confidence the day before the race. Going into the race I had heard there was a chance of rain. Now rain and rocks are not something fun to tangle with. It started clouding up on Friday, but didn't rain so I thought everything would be ok.
Saturday morning, the day of the race, everything was looking good. We had 48 racers in my field. That I believe was the largest field. In MTB they often times will do call-ups. A call up is were they announce the racers name to come to the start line ahead of the field. I guess I was ranked high enough that I was called up in the second row. I was not expecting that. Starting on the second row was, as I would find out the highlight of the race. At the start I managed to hold my position pretty well leading into the single track. The course started out with two major climbs. Most everyone at the start of the races have fresh legs so its difficult to gain ground, but easy to loss ground. I was holding my own up the climbs setting in 8th or so place. I was still trying to get into a comfort zone. I tend to race best when I can find a comfort zone quickly. As we topped the climbs we went down the first of many descents. I managed the first one well, but on the second I must have hit a rock awkwardly and caused my rear wheel and rear chain stay to break. It was the end of the race for me.
All in all I was happy to have represented Alabama and especially EACC. See you guys soon.