Yesterday were the Supercross Finals and the racing was pretty cool to watch. I would have much rather been on the gate, but watching 8 men and women charge it out of the ginormous start gate was awesome. Here is a quick shot of Gravesy flying over the third set of doubles in the second straight-away.
The heat yesterday was almost unbearable. I mean I was there in shorts and a t-shirt and I kept pouring water over my head. I can’t imagine how it felt to have your race pants, jersey, gloves, and helmet on. The sun actually came out yesterday and it wasn’t just smog filled air.
The way they decided to run the races were they started with the Men’s quarters first and there were 4 groups. They would run all four groups three times. So basically they would run a points system for the quarters and semi’s and then just one main event. So in those quarters and mains you have to race to the line because every point counts. And then in the third heat even if you had low points you couldn’t coast because depending on the place you got you had lane choice, which was fairly important.
Throughout the day Donny Robinson, Jared Graves, Arturs Madison, and Mickel Prokop were getting the best gates. But as soon as they got to the second straight and the 3 sets of doubles that is where Mikey Day and Kyle Bennett would shine. The US guys were riding really well, but unfortunately some of them had some bad luck. Stumpy looked like he was struggling with the gate and ended up I think with an 8th, 7th, and a 6th in the quarters and was out. Tyler Brown had some good heats, but missed the semis by 1 point. The 4 guys that made it to the semis were Donny, Kyle, Steven Cisar, and Mike Day. From that group Donny was the only one that made the men’s final.
As for the women they had a run of some bad luck as well. Out of the 4 that qualified only Jill made it to the main. Arielle looked the strongest and even finished 2nd to Anne-Caro one heat, but in her last heat something happened coming out of the first turn and she launched over one of the jumps and landed back on the first straightaway. I’m not sure how that happened, but she said her hand flew off her bars. Kim just couldn’t quite get out of the gate and struggled a bit. And the same with Amanda. She got balled up out of the gate one of her heats and couldn’t jump either of the first set of doubles and when you do that you get really far behind really quick.
In the women’s main event I thought Anne-Caro or Gabriella Diaz actually looked faster than Shanaeze. Shanaeze looked like she was pushing too easy of a gear, which is scary as hell to think of b/c I heard from a little birdie that she’s running a freakin’ 45-16 ratio. And for those of you who don’t know what that means….it means that’s is a freakin’ big gear for a girl!! Guys don’t even run that hard of a gear. Anne-Caro on the other hand was spinning to win. I thought Anne and Gabriella looked a bit smoother, but I called it all wrong. In the main Shanaeze got the pop out of the gate and Anne-Caro got caught with her pants down. Shanaeze led the main from start to finish and killed it. Anne got all balled up out of the gate and down the first straight. She got all squirrelly over the triple going into the first turn and I thought she was going down, but didn’t. So here’s how the main ended up…
In the Men’s final Donny won that thing wire to wire. Haha…that is so something Mike Redman (the announcer) would say! He seriously was getting crazy good gates all day and in the main it was no different. He led from start to finish with Afro Bob putting in a good run and ending up second and Jared Graves finishing in third. I was stoked for all three of them. They rode amazing.
As soon as the event was over we rode back to the hotel and took a nice cold shower and just took it easy. Most everybody was on an 8:00 am or a noon flight the next day. I however was on an 8:30 pm so I had most of the day to play.
Chris Clinton (the US mechanic) and I decided to go to The Great Wall of China. I was stoked to get to actually see something other than the hotel especially for only being in China for 3 days.
So this morning we got up, had a little breakfast, and then took a taxi to the Great Wall. The taxi ride took an hour and a half and cost us 400 RMB, which sounds like a lot but it’s only like $60.00. Not bad huh! As we were getting closer we could see the wall up ahead. It was massive! From what I understand it was built to keep all of the enemies out and the emperors safe and it is 6.000 kilometers long. Crazy!
Anyway, so Chris and I walked around for about an hour and a half taking pictures and just having fun watching the swap meet like chaos around us. There are tons of little shops that sell the exact same stuff and the owners are out front yelling at you saying, “ hey lady…hey lady…you like Chinese mask, you like chopsticks...I make a special price for you!” Over and over they would say this and then they would grab your arm and try to pull you closer to their little section. It was hilarious. Well, of course until one too many of them grab you and then I was just doing my best to get away. There were a ton of the shops as you walk up to the wall and then once you walk in there are more, but not as many and much smaller. It’s like they just set up a blanket and put some things on the ground and try to get you to buy them. I’m surprised that they allow it on the wall, but I guess anything goes there.
So I bought a few things and then we took our taxicab back with plenty of time for a shower, check out, and then off to the airport.
I’d like to say this trip has been short and sweet. It’s been more short than sweet. The sweet part would have been if I made the qualifier and was able to race. It was hard just sitting there watching the races going on, but still in the end I’m glad I came.
Okay, it is now about 4:30 US time on Wednesday, which means that I’ll be landing in about 30 min. and am basically landing in LA before I’ve left from Beijing. Did that make sense? ☺ Anyway, I’ll be home the rest of today and leave on another red-eye tomorrow for Syracuse, New York and the UCI event in Kingston, Ontario Canada. Good times…good times!