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podium finish would have at least been a consolation prize for the droves of fans that made the trip to RedBud to sport red, white, and blue and cheer on Team USA from the fences, but they didn’t even manage that. It wasn’t quite as bad as last year in Matterly Basin from a purely statistical standpoint, but considering that this event took place in their own backyard, it certainly wasn’t any better. It’s a difficult situation for the American riders to be in because the expectations are so high as the winningest country in the history of the event that any- thing short of a win is a failure, but perhaps it’s time for expectations to be tempered. The European riders have made massive strides over the past decade and the current crop of American competitors doesn’t have the same mental advantage as they once did, not even on home soil. Bad luck, poor starts, and a plethora of other problems played into America’s 6th place finish, but they ultimately got beat by the better teams this year at RedBud.

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