Fontana City Nationals Race Report: Kim “Champ” Finch

Downhill Team

*Editorial: Here’s the much anticipated race report from Team Rider, Kim Finch.

Nationals are always a big event. We rolled in very early Saturday morning to Fontana and as expected Vendor Row is packed. With numerous events about to unfold, I hit the registration table got to get David, Tony & I registered. Back to the truck and gear up for practice. Ran in to teammates RL “Boss” & Moe “The Moe”. We all headed to the top of the mountain. Sport & Beginner had early morning practice time, which was great! The shuttle line was really short which always seems rare.

I was able to get in 5 practice runs before 11:00am! The course was not too technical, but the winds on Saturday were so strong they were blowing me off my lines. The swooping “S” banked turns were so much fun! There were some ruts that seem to cut across the course in a manner that could cause some problems, but was able to find my lines and felt really good about the practice. Afterward we were off to eat at Jose’s Tacos nearby.

Sunday we get to Fontana, check in, set up base and wait! The up side this morning there was “NO” wind! Practice time was a bit later in the morning. I cruised around and ran into the rest of the team! Talked with Nancy Harris who had been approved to race in the Sport Category with Traci Adams and I. I was very excited about this, as Nancy has spent a lot of her time coaching and helping me over the past year, so really thought it would be fun to see how I finish my time compared to hers! I was able to get in two practice runs however, it was not as clean as I had hoped. The drop, hard left in to the “S” turns I kept washing out, once hitting the ground and one a near miss. I was determined to get this section cleared as I had cleared it all runs the prior day. I hiked back up to the turn above it until I nailed it! Upon completing it, I called it a day until race run. Weather was getting hotter but the winds seem to be nothing more then a breeze at the top of the hill.

Race run: Sport women were the first down the mountain today which is kind of cool as I didn’t have to wait out those pre-race jitters. I followed behind Traci; the count down began with the last BEEP I was off! First section clean pulled each line as I planed. Had to toe dab right, left turn due to slide off line and caught a bit of the rut at the bottom. I headed to the rock drop I was struggling with earlier that had and clean the rocks but had to again put a foot down at the apex of the left hand turn. This was not good for me as I lost my momentum to start the “S” banking turns. Stood up on the pedals and hit it as hard as I could. Swept the turns clean, even got a little air off the last “G” out. Hit the bottom and headed for the lower rock garden. Took the new line I had just learned earlier that was a straight shot to the bottom. Was clean & I felt pretty fast over all. I could hear Wes cheering as I went through the lower section. Thanks Wes!

Over all I had a lot of fun! Nancy & Traci were waiting for me at the finish line! Nancy took 1st time 2:58, I got 2nd time 3:20 & Traci took 3rd time 3:22. As you can see was a really close race. I was very excited to finish close to Nancy and thrilled to see that Traci’s training is paying off! Thanks to all the support of our sponsors and all my teammates! Was a great weekend of fun and looking forward to Santa Yenz & Woodward West!

RL Policar

RL Policar is an avid mountain biker and the Editor In-Chief of and Between the two sites, he's published well over 4,000 articles (and growing).

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