I got back late last night from the latest "Mountain States Cup" in Angel Fire, NM. I headed out from Durango early Saturday morning and got into Angel Fire early enough to register, hang out with the Hayes guys for a bit, and pre-ride the XC course with Colin Cares before racing in the STXC at 6:20. Before we toed the line though, Heather Holmes, raced in the pro women's stxc. Katie Compton destroyed the field and lapped everyone but Kelli Emmett. Heather was able to hold on to 3rd so she was in pretty elite company on the podium. Our race went well. Colin was on the front for most of the race drilling it while I dangled off the lead group of 3 to 4 riders. It was a hard course, with a pretty steep climb in it and it was at a high elevation which made it that much more difficult. In the end Colin ended up fading a bit and I overtook him and took the third spot while Colin settled for 4th.
We lucked out on the weather on both Saturday and Sunday. It was cool, in the 50's, and pretty rainy, but despite a few sprinkles during the XC race we never got too wet. The cross country went really well for both of us. Colin got a gap at the begining of the race and never looked back. It was nice to have a strong teammate out there for a change, as I was able to sit on Jay Henry's wheel for part of the race while he tried, to no avail, to chase Colin down, rather than having Sho-Air sit on me all race. While I would get a glimpse of Colin every once and awhile for the most part he was out there tearing up the course on his own while I battled it out with Jay. In the end I got the best of Jay and the Kenda-Tomac-Hayes team went 1, 2. Colin was absolutely flying out there which was great to see. When Colin gets a chance he'll send a brief report on his race along with some photos of the podium.
As always the equipment worked great. The course has a ton of climbing but also has a really rough and rocky descent. The Type-X was built for a course like that. It is super light-weight for the climb and the carbon frame soaks up enough of the rough descent to keep the body fresh. The bottom half of the course was dry but the top half was quite wet. I opted to run the Karma's, while Colin ran the Small Blocks. The Karma's didn't roll quite as fast on the lower sections of the course as the small blocks but they allowed me to ride much of the rocky, wet, upper part of the climb. With Colin's and I's placings it is quite obvious that both tires worked great out there and is a great testament to the versatility of the tires.
Now it will be a couple of days of rest and then Colin, Kathy, and I will be hoping onto airplanes and heading for Alabama for the next Pro XCT race this upcoming weekend. We'll keep you posted on how that goes.