Friday’s practice for the Mountain Creek Pro GRT/ Eastern States Cup was one of those unusual days when the forecast is 100% accurate- rain all day! It was light enough to ride most of the day, but the course steadily deteriorated from prime to snotty, and then came the monsoon. Known for drying out well, the track improved a lot by qualifying Saturday. The course had a little bit of everything- rock garden, dirt jumps, tight twisty single track and high speed wide open. I took my qualifying run like I was practicing, but linked it all together. I’ll be honest, I was more than a little mind blown when I came in 8 seconds ahead! I knew I was capable of shaving a few seconds on this short course, but whether or not I could hold it together was the question. Sunday afternoon it was pretty awesome to be lined up at the back of the pack in the starting gate. After the rest of my class rolled out, I left the starting gait with just a smidge of reserve based on some bad memories of getting ejected in the first 10 yards of a race there 2 years prior. Then I let her rip and had a fairly smooth run till I clipped a tree 80% down the course and almost went through the tape. Quickly regaining composure, I pedaled back on track then hammered to the finish. When I heard my time- 1 second slower than I qualified- I figured I’d lost the lead for sure, but then the congrats started rolling in and I experienced the biggest win of my biking career to date! The top of that podium, surrounded by incredible competitors made up of new and old friends was a particularly sweet place to be. I’m simultaneously humbled and excited about the potential for more!