The first race of the 2012 season for the GROMs is in the books. What a great day of racing and catching up with friends that haven't been seen during the off-season. The guys at Clemson put together a well organized race with few if any glitches.
GROMs traveled down on Friday night to Anderson and stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites (just like last year). The staff at the hotel was so helpful. As a courtesy, they provided storage for our bikes to protect them from the bad weather that was expected. This was much appreciated as we had a huge thunder storm on Friday night. After a big order of wings from Wild Wing Cafe, the GROMs crashed for the night.
Saturday AM brought overcast skies and lots of water standing around the hotel. After breakfast at the hotel, we headed out for the Clemson Freeride course. Registration was easy and fast with lots of familiar faces excited about a day of riding and racing. By 10:00 Ben, Eric and Jay had a run in and were comparing info on the course. A new structure at the top of the course (whale tail) and a new starting gate were nice enhancements over last year. All the structures were in great shape. Thanks to a steady breeze, the structures were drying quickly.
A good number of runs were completed and then some lunch. The sun was out and the day was warming up nicely. Race pants were traded for shorts and lost of water consumed to prepare for the warmer than usual afternoon. A race meeting at 12:30 gave all the details: best of two runs, in addition to the overall winner, the fastest hardtail time would be recognized as well.
After the first run, Ben was 3rd and Jay was forth. With both riding hardtails, they were in the running for that prize as well. Both had good first runs but Eric had dropped a chain on his run; no injury to bike or Eric but it prevented him from some pedal strokes on the flat sections. Course strategy was discussed and all looked for areas to pick up some speed and cut their times.
GROMs had better second runs and were anxious for the times. While times were being finalized, GROMs had a few minutes to visit with some younger riders in attendance. It was good to see several riders new to the sport with the youngest out with his dad at only 8 years old.
Times were posted quickly and it was up to the shelter for awards. Ben, Eric and Jay all rode in the elite class which put them competing with some strong competition and older racers. Ben was called as the 3rd place finisher, Cecil Linder in second, and Jay finished first. Next the hardtail finishing: Jay first, Ben second.
Within just a few minutes, Ben Eric and Jay were back on the mountain sessioning the tabletop and wallride. Check out the video here on www.gromracing.com.
Many thanks to the Clemson team for putting on a good race. The weather turned out to be near perfect and the course safe and dry by race time. It was a great way to start the 2012 GROM season.
See you at Beech Mountain on Saturday, March 10 for some Dual Slalom followed by skiing.