OK- as long as we're all spewing the inadequacies of the Otter- here's where I would be a bit miffed-
after talking with one of my friends- an expert female mountain bike racer- i am a little perplexed.
apparently, the race officials decided to start pulling riders in the women's expert field after only 1 lap because they were worried that the women would get stuck out on the course in the dark in the event of a mechanical, etc.
this sounds great, like they were really looking out for the safety of the riders. but...
if the race started at 1pm, that left AT LEAST 6 HRS for racing before darkness. most expert females were running lap times at 2 hours or under. (understandably, a few would be taking a bit longer...but for the most part, we were looking at a 4-4.5 hour race. that would have still left plenty of light for a rider who had a mechanical or a crash to make their way to one of the course marshals- or to some populated area.
here's what i think happened:
officials, etc. wanted to beat traffic or whatever, and didn't want to wait around any longer for those gals to finish. while the guise of "safety" seems like a good one...it just doesn't make sense to me (maybe someone can set me straight?).
those ladies trained their A%%es off for that race. They paid the same fees all of the rest of us paid. to me, pulling a rider after one lap (especially when other riders were allowed to continue...c'mon they were only halfway through the race- anything could have happened over the course of another 18+ miles) is just bogus. those gals deserved better than that and at the very least- their money back.
just the thoughts of a geezer who rode the course early in the day...