The grounds crew had a heck of a job on their hands. This should have led to a heck of a lot more bad outcomes than it did. They did an incredible job with snow management.
There was pretty much no way this dude was losing this race. Talk about a gun to a knife fight!
Before the field even hit the woods, it was strung out in a long, long line of "oh my God is it going to be like this the whole way?"
"Yes, yes it is going to be like this the whole way (at least on the top half of the course)."
It was more like SnotWalk for most people. What was a really fast, big ring course just one week ago turned into a slog that could only be ridden in brief sections for yesterday's race.
Mercifully, the officials chopped the Cat 2 fields down to one lap from two. The winning time for the men's Cat 2 was nearly 1:40, with the top Cat 2 women coming in at around 1:52. For those of you keeping score at home, that's almost 4 times as long as a fast elite lap time from HotCycle. The first half of the course was about 95% walking. The last half was more rideable.
The Cat 1 fields had to do two laps. Not many were super happy about that and overall there was more attrition than any race I've ever seen. There was a bunch of whinging to be heard but most people took the whole deal in stride. It's January. It's a great venue and a great concept, but you take what comes. If the race had been just one week earlier, it would have been (save for the wicked cold), ideal conditions. What are you going to do?
I have a bunch more pictures that I'll get posted up sometime soon.