January 30, 2013

First Win of 2013 - Dylan 1st at Snotcycle

Date: January 26, 2013
Location: Leesburg, VA
Conditions: 30s and snowy
Discipline: XC mtb
Distance: Approx 20 miles
Riders: Dylan Johnson
Place: 1st

The Snotcycle marks the first mountain bike race of the year in the D.C. area and true to the races tradition there was about 2 inches of fresh snow making it a real winter race. I was eager to try out my new Scott Spark 29er under race conditions. The bike had performed great during long group rides, but I knew that a race would be the real test. The night before the race I dusted of my Stan’s Race Gold 29er wheels and put on a set of Continental X King tires to give me a little more traction in the snow. I normally don’t put tires on the day before a race but the Continentals mounted right up with Stan’s sealant so I was good to go.

Continental X-King on Stan's Gold Wheels
I got to the race and as I warmed up tried feel around for my competition. Kevin Carter, a riding partner and consistent top 5 contender at the NUE 100 mile races, was there as well as Jared Nieters who had just come of a top 30 finish in the elite race at cyclocross nationals along with his team mate Dave Fuentes. As the race started Nieters stormed to the front getting the holeshot and I grabbed a spot behind him. 

The single track was extremely slick at high speed and I saw Jared constantly putting his foot out to keep from sliding out. I was thankful for my Continental X Kings. The traction was great considering the conditions and I wasn’t having nearly as much trouble staying in control as some of the other racers.

About halfway through the first lap I passed Nieters and from there on I just held a steady hard pace. I took full advantage of the Twin Lock feature on the Scott Spark. I was constantly locking out the suspension on the short punchy climbs and opening it up on the descents. I found the bike to be extremely efficient in a race setting and the ample traction of the full suspension Spark was much appreciated in the snowy conditions.

I finished the race with in first place and went home happy not just because of the result but because the guys at Go Time Racing really know how to put on a fun event and give people an excuse to get out and ride their bikes in the middle of January.