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Photo Randoms: Embracing the Mud

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From partying to the pits, conditions didn't slow things down and the crew at Windrock knows how to do it right.
The mud was relentless, as were the hecklers.

One run, one trip to the bike wash.

Water was a blessing and a curse this weekend.

All sorts of tactics for fighting the wet. Visors were lengthened to shield from the rain. Riders were putting latex gloves over riding gloves to shield from the rain prior to race time.

Kenda seems to have had a new mud tire on the track for testing. Details were sparse but there's no doubt that they're trying out a variety of ideas with the Intense team prior to the start of World Cup season.

Neko Mulally and Max Morgan were both seen wearing a new logo on their Fox helmets this weekend.

Ethan Shandro's bike is prepped and ready for the wet conditions. ODI grip covers, keeping things dry until race time. The full-on moto-style fender seems to be doing the trick as he consistently posted top times all weekend.

Trek Factory racing mechanic Grant Sides has his tools prepped and ready for both Charlie Harrison and Ethan Shandro's bikes. Sides is the youngest factory mechanic on the World Cup circuit at 24 years old.

These unlabeled wheels were spotted on a bike near the SRAM/RockShox pits. We've seen similar wheels on SRAM bikes in the past but still don't have any details.

Truvativ TLD bars were part of the prizes given away to top riders this weekend.

Loris Vergier layered up and ready for the cold. Also, note the Monster Energy logo on his helmet. There was little news about this but he has now joined Luca Shaw in rocking the green "M".

Friday was International Women's Day. This is much of the Pro Women's field after some treacherous conditions in qualifying.

Caroline Washam's mechanic had a pretty dialed set-up for the weekend. The ski boot dryer was a good move for increasing comfort between practice and timed runs.

Everyone wished they brought a propane heater as this crew did.

Knoxville, TN is the closest major city to Windrock and the mountain bike scene there is one of the strongest there is. With a couple of birthdays happening, it only made sense for them to band together and rent a bus to travel over to Windrock for a day of spectating. They brought along some good barbeque too, of course.

The doggos were out to party as well. Layla and Dale kept it chill trackside all day long.

One of the coolest things about this race is that amateur riders are sharing the track with the best in the world. There are few races where you're going to be putting your bike on the shuttle next to Loris Vergier's.

Neko Mulally, along with Sean Leader made the weekend happen. Neko crossed the line in his qualifying run and went straight to doing an interview for the local television station here.

Windrock is not only home to great mountain biking but the OHV park is one of the largest. If anyone got bored of watching bike racing, there was plenty else to keep them entertained.

Spectators were out in force.

Trackside conditions were just as gnarly as the race itself. (Andrew Mueller Photo)

Splash.