Well, last weekend’s race at Biltmore Estate marked the last of the North Carolina Series races and the last CX race for myself until next season. It turned out to be a good weekend.
What I Liked:
For starters, the weather turned out great on Sunday. I think by the time I raced, the temperature was in the low 40’s… not bad! This was certainly nicer than Saturday’s conditions. The course itself had some neat features: I really enjoyed the drop-in section, it was a nice surprise and kept people on their toes. See the picture above for a visual (it was steeper than it looks). There was also a really nice, off-camber section that allowed one to pick up good speed. With the momentum, you could sweep up the next section easily. There were two sections with barriers, one was near the start of the course and had the typical double barrier setup. The other section was about half way through the course and it was a single barrier that was positioned right after a nice turn. It took some skill to keep your speed through that section. Below is a picture of myself approaching the barrier.
I liked the venue, and the discounted tickets to enter the house were a nice feature that my wife and I took advantage of.
What I Disliked:
There was some disappointment with the course. I anticipated that it would take full advantage of the varying elevation offered in Asheville and the wooded areas throughout the estate property. Honestly, I expected more European attitude. The course was fast and dry. Dry I can’t complain about, but fast was not expected. I was looking forward to a technical course that featured a mix of singletrack, Euro obstacles and some mud. But hey, the course was still fun and I’m glad I rode it. Other than the course, it would have been nice to see some food trucks and other vendors out there, but perhaps Biltmore did not allow that.
I think I’m still game for next year. There will be other determining factors, but rumor is that the course is getting tweaked for the better and I’m excited for that. It was a great ride that got coupled with great tours at the Biltmore Winery and Estate; this made for a great weekend.