Sunday morning was a whole other animal compared to day one. We started out the day with a 2.5-hour climb up to the top of Stage 4. The hardest part of the climb was just staying hydrated due to all of the sun exposure, so I just took my time, sipped on my water and watched people pedal past me. Finally we arrived at Stage 4, a little worse for wear but excited to drop in on the most technical downhill track of the event. I dropped in and within 100 feet could feel my Jello legs kicking in… I knew that a crash would cost me more time than I could make up by pushing so I just got down the hill safe and sound and turned my focus to the final long stage of the weekend. Stage 5 was by far my favorite track of the weekend. It started out fast and flowy on a jump trail for about 3 minutes, and then dumped you into tight, technical, rooty hell for the next 10-minutes. I had a killer run going on and pushed hard from top to bottom but man, the last few minutes were so sketchy! I was literally coming into braking bumps with two fingers on the levers and my seat pinched between my knees just so I could hold on! I don’t know if I have ever ridden a track that gave people so much arm pump. Just like Saturday, the crew gathered at the bottom of the trail, telling stories of misplaced trees and OTB’s. It was a heck of a day and I was curious to see if I made up any ground.
We all rode back to the venue as a group, but I split off to get changed first and let a bunch of people check in before I turned in my chip. I like waiting until the end to play spoiler sometimes and it keeps me from running back and forth to the TV screen every 30 seconds to see if something changed. Finally I cruised over and saw that I was able to move up one spot from the previous day into 4th, which was cool! The top three guys rode amazing for sure, but they had been able to get some practice in during the weeks leading up to the event so I felt like I rode pretty well considering our limited runs on Friday. It was definitely a nice way to cap off a few stressful weeks and it was a great way to spend some time with all of the awesome people that came out to race. I also want to say a huge thanks to everyone that helped put on such a great event and thanks to the town of Kellogg for hosting all of our dirtbag asses.
To be honest, I may have popped my champagne a little early on the podium! Sorry boys!
Kyle Warner is supported by: Marin, SR Suntour, Shimano, Fly Racing, Deity, WTB, Onnit, Maxima, Garmin, Slime, MRP, DVO, Amaincycling.com