Chuck won his second gold medal at Windrock in an eight-month span by a razor margin
Charlie Harrison may be a native Californian, but he clearly feels at home in Tennessee.
On Saturday, he won his second straight event at Windrock, beating out Dakotah Norton by a razor thin margin — just eight hundredths of a second — to win 2021 Tennessee National. He also won gold at Windrock for Downhill Southeast in 2020, and took silver at 2019 Tennessee National.
For Harrison, simply returning to racing was almost as sweet as the victory itself.
“It’s really refreshing to ride somewhere new, especially after being at home for so long,” Harrison said. “Obviously we’re doing a ton of laps at home, but nothing beats just going to the races. It’s what I train for and what I look forward to.”
Harrison finished third during qualifying in the midst of a stacked field featuring Norton, Aaron Gwin, Neko Mulally and Luca Shaw, who was first in qualifying. In the final, Shaw also posted the fastest time at the first split, but he crashed out of his run due to a broken chain.
Harrison was third at the split, and just fast enough over the second half of the course to hold off Norton, who was fourth at the split but posted the fastest time over the second sector. In the end, no one was faster over the entirety of the rocky, dusty course than Harrison, who will take momentum from the win back into training for the 2021 UCI World Cup set to start in late April.
“Bike felt good, body felt good, and I’m super stoked. It’s confidence inspiring leading up to the World Cup in a few months,” Harrison said. “It’s amazing to be back with the team and get a race under the belt, and get 2021 started.”