Jeremy’s been dreaming about mud. Now I’m having nightmares about it. Calling this past weekend bike racing is a bit of a stretch, I would say. The races at New Gloucester, Maine were the muddiest conditions I’ve encountered in a long time – certainly the muddiest by far of this year.
Saturday rained – hard. And it was cold. The racing was wet and miserable. While the weather improved greatly the following day, the mud situation worsened, as the previous 24 hours left the entire course a bog, much of it impassible.
As always, I feel it’s best to tell the story of a weekend in pictures. Notice a few things as you peruse this array of photos:
1) New team jackets from Rapha. There’s been a long, profitable and unofficial relationship between Embrocation and Rapha. I was more than proud to present the team with the new rain jackets from Rapha tastefully emblazoned with our moka pot logos. Supertight.
2) Um, new team bikes. New team bikes! Ridley X-Fires to be exact. They just arrived the previous Thursday, leaving minimal time to build them up prior to the mud-slinging. These things absolutely rock. Kudos to Jeremy for applying his design prowess to delivering a stunning paint job and to a bunch of Belgians who evidently know a whole lot about how to build a bicycle.
3) Suffer face. Who has the best? My money is on Pete Smith this time around. Picture after picture, he is the incarnation of intensity.
4) Action in the pits. With so much mud, the pits were alive and kicking – never a dull moment. Laflamme went right from the Cat 3 podium to frantically washing bikes for the elite race.
5) Broken stuff. Dirty stuff. Broken, dirty stuff.
And away we go.