So Granogue was epic and amazing and I am trying to get out a write-up that will do it justice, but I've come down with a fun-filled early fall cold and it's hard to concentrate on anything other than blowing my nose, sneezing, and feeling like I'm going to die. In addition, there was a major fly in this week's racing ointment: Steve sprained/strained/something-ed his arm playing soccer on Thursday night, and was unable to race this weekend. And maybe not for the rest of the season!
But it's hard to pass up a course and setting as beautiful as Granogue, plus most of our out-of-town friends were scheduled to be in attendance, so we sucked it up and still went both days. And while I know it was depressing for Steve, it was still a blast, and definitely beats sitting at home and pouting all weekend.
This year's setting could not have been more polar opposite than last year, in place of 40 degree temperatures and pouring down rain (and the accompanying mud, natch), it was in the upper 60s, sunny, and even a little bit DRY. Saturday featured the more traditional Granogue course, although there were enough adjustments to make it even more interesting, while Sunday took a few of the features, but really changed up the bulk of the course and the approaches. From those that know, Saturday was more about power, while Sunday was more technical.
Saturday featured the seep uphill climb that more elite riders ride with ease, but the new wrinkle this year was a slightly different approach, and the installation of low barriers. This was where I watched most of the races from, and it also featured the ever-popular crumpled dollar bills thrown on the course for the riders to pick up.
A bummer to me this year was the lack of the big-time national guys, Wicks, Trebon, et. al., but there were some other elite regional folks, and the top two juniors in the country which was an exciting battle to watch. It is incredibly exciting that two of the best young riders, probably in the entire country, both race in this area with regularity. It's pretty awesome watching Bahnson and Dombrowski continue to improve.
Sunday we had to leave after the elite Juniors race, but I spent a good chunk of that day observing the steep run-up on the backside near the expo area. While not as steep as the Belgian Wall a few weeks ago in Winchester, it was an exciting feature to watch. It's always impressive to see the skills the different riders employ to tackle the same obstacles.
Topping off the weekend in Delaware were stops at some of our favorite local dining establishments for ice cream, hoagies, cupcakes, and, of course, snacks from Wawa! While it's definitely different, and obviously a little weird, being there with Steve not racing, it's still so great to hang out with good friends and awesome people in the fall sunshine. We'll definitely be out at a few more races this year, and hopefully Steve will even be able to race in some of them!
And finally, a massive thanks to the Dupont family for allowing us use of their beautiful property, and to all the folks who help make Granogue happen every year. Congrats on 10 years, and here's to at least 10 more!