After all the hype about the toughness of this race, I can now say first hand that it lived up to all expectations. Early season races always mean mud, cold, wet, and gnarly. Tuscarora was all this plus. Three solid climbs and two super fast fire road decents all mixed up with gnarly rock gardens and multiple hike a bike sections. As for me, I rode a strong race holding the third spot for the first five laps. The course took its toll and eliminated the leader and defending champ with a double flat, launching me into second headed into the last lap. I was confident I could hold this spot but was nursing a couple cracked ribs from a fall on the second lap. The Scott Spark and trusty Continental Xkings guided me safely through the race and final lap to hold my podium spot and second place finish. Awesome race and hats off to the promoters for going above and beyond with trail prep, food and killer awards.