July 11, 2010
Gloucester County College, Sewell, NJ
In attendance: Nathaniel Williams, Cam Dodge, Aaron Snyder, Scott Wilson, Mike Joos, Jay Dodge, Bart Passanante, Brian Bohlman
Almost all of the team traveled to NJ on July 11 for the Danzeisen & Quigley Summer Sizzler held on some very cool singletrack trails at the County Gloucester College. Even Nathaniel came to the event, all the way from Massachusetts (enduring a 12+ hour train ride that involved a delayed bike and a long, long day).
Danzeisen & Quigley, the race sponsor, is a big Scott dealer in Cherry Hill, NJ, so, if you're interested in a bike like one of our team bikes that have been fast in all conditions and courses this year, like the Spark RC or the Scale 29er, give them a call at 856-424-5969.
The Summer Sizzler course was almost 100% singletrack and was tacky and fast from some overnight rain showers. The local trail builders had done an awesome job stuffing as many trails as possible into a small space and using all of the available terrain; so, there were water crossings, a big sandy area, tons of short, steep uphills, roots and lots and lots of twists and turns.Bart lives 1 mile from the course and brought the team van and two tents. We had an awesome compound set up right by the start area. Very cool.
We also had our new team banner made for us by EJ of Crankskins (a beautiful piece of work that shows off our team sponsors to the fullest). EJ can seemingly make anything, from frame decals (he made us all sponsor decals for our bikes, as name decals) to custom water bottles, to banners with incredibly clear writing.
Also along for the trip was Brian Bohlman, the regional sales rep for Scott who is based in the Virginia Beach, VA region. Both Brian and Bart were headed out to Scott HQ in Sun Valley, Idaho after the race. If you haven't seen it already, Scott is launching a 949 gram or less (!) Scale 29er frame and a 899 gram (or less) Scale 26er for 2011. Both are going to be much lighter than anything offered by Cannondale or Specialized. As much as I love my Spark RC (which weighs in at just 21lbs with 4+ inches of travel front and rear), I can't wait to see how a 20lb (or less) 29er rolls. I may just need to get a second (or third bike) for next year.
The race start at the D&Q was pretty rough (that's an understatement). The prologue shot through a large open lawn area and into singletrack. As I was sprinting for the holeshot and all my weight was forward, I hit a concealed drainage ditch in the middle of the lawn and it sent me into a nose-dive. I landed hard and Cam, who was following me, also fell into me. He broke his hand. I felt so badly about that crash as he's going to be laid up for a few weeks with a cast.
By the time I'd untangled myself from under a pile of bikes, realized that I'd not broken my collarbone and gotten riding again, I was already 45 seconds behind the field. To make matters worse, the crash damaged my seatmast clamp and my saddle came loose. I made it up to 10th place or so and in the twists and turns saw that Aaron was in the lead. When I caught up to Nathaniel and Mike, I tried to fix my saddle, but couldn't get it sorted out in my haste. So, after the first of 4 laps, I pulled into the pit area, planning to drop out and ran over to see how Cam was doing (lots of ice and a hurting hand). While there, I was able to fix my saddle and I got rolling again.
Back on the trail, I caught up to Nathaniel who was having some chain issues. I paced him for half a lap to make sure he was OK and then started to get some speed. I didn't catch any riders, but had a great time on the swooping singletrack trails.
Aaron won the race in a sprint finish. Mike passed a bunch of guys to finish 7th. Jay crushed his field and won by over 4 minutes. Scottie pulled out from the high heat. I rolled in 16th and Nathaniel was just behind me in 17th. Results are available here.