For 2011 the 24-hour National Championship had a change of venue from Moab to Palmer Park in the heart of Colorado Springs. When I first arrived at the venue I was a little skeptical of the quality of riding because of the proximity to strip mall land. The riding at Palmer Park turned out to be great a good mix of technical single-track dirt road and pavement sections.
I was a bit disappointed with the absence of Kelly Magelky and Tinker Juarez, both of whom had registered but were not in attendance because of illness. As it turned out the guys that did show up made for strong competition all the way through the race. Nate Ginzton and Jonathan Davis were the main players fighting hard all the way to the end.
For the first 6 hours of the race I wasn’t feeling well at all. With a temperature in the mid 80s it wasn’t super hot but I felt like I was riding on the surface of the sun. I rode steady through the afternoon and waited for nightfall, as soon as it got dark, it was on! I really love racing at night there’s just something about it that really gets me going and I seam to have my best laps at night and this race was no exception. I pushed really hard all the way through the night and when the sun came up I had lapped the entire solo field! I was really beat up from going hard all night but that left me in a good position to take it easy until the end of the race. Nate and Jonathan on the other hand were battling it out. Nate came back strong for the last couple of laps and finished in a well-deserved 2nd place with Jonathan in 3rd. I have to give a big thanks to my crew for siting around for 24 hours with no sleep for me and I know that they have it almost as hard as I do. I also think that they have just as much fun as I do and anyone who has seen my crew in action will attest to that.
For 2011 I have to give a big thanks to Santa Cruz for letting me ride such great bikes! Shimano and Maxxis make a product that is so good it’s silly. Niterider lights make riding in the dark easy and fun, the technology in their lights is unbelievable! Thanks to all my other sponsors who have helped me this year, I am very gratefully for all of your support; it makes my race season possible! See you next year!