The fans standing under the hot summer sun had it easy compared to the competitors at Red Bud in Buchanan.
Many of them spent the weekend dressed from head to toe in protective gear as they ripped around corners and over hills on the course.
“You’re just so hot,” said trainer Aldon Baker. “You’re getting so much heat from the bike and the air. Everything’s working against you.”
After the heat stroke death of 23-year-old Josh Lichtle at Red Bud last year, there was an increased awareness at this year’s races for riders to hydrate.
Many of them could be seen downing bottles of water right up until just before the beginning of the race.
“Obviously it's important to come into the race and be hydrated, drink a lot of water and get a lot of fluid into your system,” said competitor Tyla Rattray. “Obviously when we're out there we have all the gear and our heart rates are maxing out.”
Many competitors wear a vest filled with ice to keep their body temperatures down until the race begins.
Once they get off the track, they head straight for an ice bath.
“As they come in, they get in there and try to get their core temperature down,” Baker said.
Riders who are still bothered by the heat after taking precautions are advised to pull out of the race.