Magical. Dramatic. Exhilarating. Those are some of the words that come to mind when describing a World Cup race week at Snowshoe, West Virginia in the USA. While Snowshoe did not host the finals of the 2022 World Cup season, the week offered plenty of action and tight racing.
Friday’s Short Track race was probably one of the most exciting in recent memory. Confronting a muddy, slick course, riders were pushed to their absolute limits just trying to stay on their bikes, let alone go for the victory. Anne Terpstra (Ghost Factory Racing) placed second and Kate Courtney (Scott SRAM) was back in the mix in eighth. Unfortunately, in the Men’s race, Nino Schurter (Scott SRAM) had a horrible crash off a bridge and was out for the rest of the weekend.
Due to all of the rain Snowshoe received, the Downhill course was one of the hardest tracks riders had ever seen in their lives. Fans and riders alike were anxious for the finals on Saturday. Maxxis’ Junior riders excelled once more with Jackson Goldstone (Santa Cruz Syndicate) and Gracey Hemstreet (Norco Factory Team) taking the Junior Men and Women wins. Tegan Cruz (Rockshox Trek Race Team) and Lachlan Stevens-McNab (UNION) followed Jackson in second and fourth, while Valentina Roa Sanchez (ProBuilds Racing) took fifth in Junior Women.
Next, the Elite Women took to the course. Nina Hoffmann (Santa Cruz Syndicate) muscled through the slippery rocks, taking third place on the day. Vali Höll (Rockshox Trek Race Team) also had a great run, smashing her way into fourth. By the time the Elite Men started their runs, the track had dried up quite a bit, resulting in some very quick runs compared to qualifying and timed training. Greg Minnaar (Santa Cruz Syndicate) managed another podium result in fifth while Laurie Greenland (Santa Cruz Syndicate) was just behind him in seventh.
On Sunday, the Elite Women were up first to tackle the brutal Snowshoe XCO course. As the riders were around the second half of the race, the heavens opened up and the rain turned the course into a mud fest. Even then, Anne Terpstra followed up her strong XCC performance with a third-place finish. With Nino out of contention, Lars Forester (Scott SRAM) charged ahead to a great seventh place.
Snowshoe was once again one to remember. The fans are amazing and the energy is contagious. World Cup racing continues next weekend in Mont-Sainte-Anne!!