Knowing the type of race that happened last year, Liz and I preplanned to ride Grafton’s course early. We wanted to make sure to get to know “The Hill” as well and try out some of the tight, off-camber turns Belgianwerx is so good at implementing in this race. After riding the course early, Liz stated she felt extremely confident and also had plans to push herself a little harder knowing she was a stronger rider than she use to give herself credit for. As we arrived Saturday, the course was damp from dew and showing signs of mud in the turns. We rode the course but knew it would dry up as the day went on. I raced first, getting a 5th spot call up. The race started with a pre-blow from the ref whistle giving some of the riders a stutter. I wasn’t able to grab the hole-shot but did take the 4th spot coming out of the 1st turn. Again knowing that although the hole shot is nice, being top 5 is about as good. Grafton has always suited me well as there are power sections and corners I can take with speed. I was 3rd at the base of the hill and noticed the two guys in front of me wouldn’t be able to keep up with me if I pushed it up the hill. I took over first and was able to put in some powerful strides to get a gap. After the hill came some barriers and turns before we descended the hill. I kept my foot down on the gas and made sure I put my best effort in. During the middle of the 2nd lap I crashed and turn my handlebars 25* to the right. With a quick should I or shouldn’t I, I decided it’d be best to keep them how they are and ride the remaining lap and a half with them bent. It took a little getting used to but I was able to ride finish the race in first with those handlebars crooked. I did fall a couple times. :)
Liz raced right after and also took the 4th spot through the first turn. She showed her new, aggressive race style, taking off camber turns and the hill with a more powerful style and descending the large sledding hill with speed. After the race Liz stated it was the best race she has had in her young career and that she had learned much about how far she could push herself. Liz took 6th out of 16 racers and was very excited on how she raced.