FRIDAY, 3 SEPTEMBER 2021 – GREER, SOUTH CAROLINA. The first full day of GS Trophy qualification events took place on a bright, sunny and warm day filled with elation and dejection.
Riders have to complete 20 scored challenges between Friday morning and Saturday at lunch time. For each challenge, individuals or teams can score a maximum of 10 points. In individual challenges, points are deducted for things like putting your foot down, knocking over a cone, dropping your bike or going out of bounds.
The volunteer judges get their morning briefing before the challenges start.
While none of the challenges is particularly easy, some are deceptive in their difficulty. One challenge which caught a good number of competitors off guard was the hill climb slalom. Normally, neither of those things by themselves is vexing, but when put together, difficulty can crop up quickly.
A competitor crashes on the hill climb slalom. Forced to pick up their bikes on their own on a steep hill often proved problematic!
Not all the challenges are hardcore and serious, however. One challenge in particular brought smiles to the faces of many competitors. It required them to descend a small, steep hill as slowly as possible while reciting lyrics to a popular song. If they got all the lyrics – provided on a handy cue card – out, they scored points.
We can’t tell you the song, but we can tell you it was hugely popular and sung by a ginger.
By the end of the day, all the competitors were exhausted and ready for dinner and copious amounts of water. Still, one final challenge remained for one team of three – the Water Snake! Fortunately, all three riders aced the challenge and headed off to relax on a high note.
After weaving through knee-deep water, charging out the far side of the Water Snake feels like happiness!