race report by GROM racer Jay Fesperman
This past weekend I made the trip up to Snowshoe, WV for the first of the 2012 Snowshoe Race series. My dad was flying in from Kansas City Friday night, so we had a late start to the weekend, rolling into the Shoe around 1:00 AM. It was a late night but thankfully we made it up there safely and I got a couple hours of sleep in the car. We got up early Saturday morning for downhill practice from 9-4. I ate an early breakfast and pedaled up to registration to get signed up to race. The Snowshoe staff did a great job making registration quick and easy as always. I was running the #2 plate, which is where I finished in the points series in pro last year.
After registering I got my Demo set up for practice doing a bolt check, setting tire pressure, and making sure everything was running smoothly. The conditions on Saturday were perfect! The sun was out, the track was tacky, and the lifts were running quick! I wanted to take as many runs as I could on Saturday because I wanted the most time on the bike I could get to continue adjusting settings and getting used to the new Specialized Demo. I was riding really well on Saturday and I got really comfortable on the bike. I took a bunch of runs with my buddies Walker Shaw, Luca Saw, and Sam Pensler. The track was really smooth and fast with some sweet corners in the woods, making it a great track for me to develop skills and practice because my greatest strengths are in the rocks. I got a lot of runs in on Saturday, and was feeling great out on the track, and I couldn’t wait to get back out on Sunday and do some racin’!
I got up really early Sunday so I could get a good breakfast and go for a spin to warm up my muscles for the day. I was feeling really good and I couldn’t wait to go out and crank out some practice runs. The conditions on Sunday were just as good as they were on Saturday and the corners were running really good. I took four practice runs and then the wait started. Pro practice ended at 11:00 and my start time was at 2:11. I had some time. I had some relaxing time, ate a big lunch, and got my bike cleaned for my finals run. I did my warm up and I was ready to hit the gate. The beeps started and I was off! I stayed under control and conservative to have a solid run. I gave it everything I had in the sprint and threw pedal strokes in everywhere I could. When I crossed the finish line I knew I had a clean quick run but I was afraid it might have been too conservative. When I sprinted across the finish everyone was dead silent. Everyone started going crazy when I was taking my goggles off and I was hoping I had put down a pinned time. I was sitting in first place in Pro, but the infamous Snowshoe local Trevyn Newpher still had to come down. It was a tense minute as we all waited for Trevyn to cross the line, and he looked pinned when he came across the line. I managed to squeeze out the win with Luca in 2nd, and Walker in 3rd. It was a great weekend up at Snowshoe and it felt really good to lay down a clean, fast race run on the new bike!
Many thanks to Jay Schultz for taking such great photos of all the racers at Snowshoe this weekend. Much appreciation goes to Specialized, Nema, Industry Nine, Cane Creek, Hawley and The Cycle Path for their support my racing this year.