Windham US Nationals: Ali Zimmer earns a World Cup spot!

Words: Ali Zimmer

The Super D event was Saturday at 6pm with 7 women in the pro/open class. A real Le Mans style start meant a short sprint to the bike with an open flat fire road and some tough pedaling as most of my competition was XC racers… This lead to gnarly steep fire road descents with plenty of mud and ruts, leading to a final fireroad pedal through the deepest mud and muc I have ever ridden through (to the hubs!). Then the track lead into a long wooded decent, with beautiful rock walls, small features, and flowy single track. I took the lead at the start, however was passed at the end of the flat pedal. By the end of the first descent I had reclaimed the lead, and was not challenged for the remainder of the course. Making it through the mud was the most challenging feat of the event!

Click image to enlargePhoto: Jason Stilson Photography >>

The Pro GRT DH course was really fun. A longer DH course with very little pedaling and lots of drops, rock gardens, tight grassy turns, loose fast muddy sections of just holding on, and a big 40ish foot gap at the end. The Pro womens field was 10 strong, the most competition yet this year; with many of the riders vouching for a 1st or 2nd spot to earn enough UCI points to go to the World Cup at Mont St. Anne next month. The full weekend of riding, and challenging courses had me feeling exhausted by the DH race day on Sunday. On my first practice run of the day I badly cased a jump that had nearly taken me out the day before in qualifying, however with the help of Team Voncooper and a borrowed wheel I was back in business. I again took a rather conservative approach to the race, and focused on smoothness, which resulted in a second place finish and the UCI points needed to attend my first ever World Cup!

Click image to enlargePhoto: Matt Delorme

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