Kona Super Grassroots rider Rae Gandolf wins her first race of the season

The 2013 downhill racing season kicked off for both me and Snowshoe Mountain in wild, wonderful West Virginia on June 9th. Despite a rain-filled Friday, 160 eager racers piled in by the time of Sunday’s race. Friday was so wet I didn’t even bother to get on the trail despite being anxious to take my Supreme Operator on her first real DH run. By Saturday morning, the rain stopped and I began shimmying down the mountain trying to remember how to ride in the mud. I started to get my sea legs back on the second run but the conditions were exhausting. Things really started to tack up in the afternoon though, allowing eagerness to replace trepidation in the corners, rocks and jumps. Come Sunday, I was having some fun and the weather and views were fabulous, but still didn’t feel like the winter cobwebs had cleared. Thankfully, my chakras somehow realigned by race time – me and my Supreme Operator streaked effectively down the mountain and my legs held up where they needed to cross the finish line in first place in women’s elite class. I don’t recall ever starting the DH season in with a win; I must admit I like it.