The Midway Pro Dev XC was a very fun and challenging course consisting of lots of interesting natural features. Lap times were fast and the course was very unforgiving while at the same time in a really beautiful setting near the foothills of the Wasatch Range. Midway UT is basically outside of Park City which I had never visited before and it was gorgeous. The course was set at the same venue that hosted the 2002 Nordic Olympic Games, called Soldier Hollow - that was pretty cool to compete at the same place where olympians competed even if it was an altogether different season!
Friday afternoon I had a chance to pre ride the course and get a taste of what it had to offer. For what appeared to be a simple course, it was surprisingly technical and I found myself wishing that I had my full suspension Niner to help me through. The ground was rough and uneven with steep fast descents. I was thankful for the chance to pre ride as I found myself going back to particular sections that were hairy to do a little extra recon. The course had many sections where you could choose between A and B lines, B being less challenging but slower than the A lines. On race day, I took the A lines - hell yea!
Saturday started out with Short Track. I haven’t raced much Short Track and the Midway course was brutal! My goal for the Short Track race was to stay with the lead lap and not get pulled, which I was able to accomplish. The finishing straight was a steep uphill road, followed by tight, winding single track through some trees which funneled into the feed zone at the end of the lap. The Short Track course was like a mini XC and less like a traditional short track course because the it consisted of so much tight single track making pace lining difficult. Although this course was challenging I preferred it to a more traditional short track course and was happy to have met my personal goal.
Sunday morning was the XC race. I may have left too much on the course on Saturday but it’s all a learning curve. The XC race was 5 laps with each lap taking about 13-14 minutes. The uphills were pretty steep and painful followed by quick technical downhills making for an unrelenting XC race. I tried the CLIF Shot Bloks in Spearmint flavor for the first time during this race and they were tasty - go get yourself some, no really they’re good stuff. I felt pretty used up from Saturday’s Short Track so I didn’t finish as strongly as I would have liked.
All in all the XC course was one of the most fun I have ever ridden and I’m looking forward to facing that mountain again in 2018.