Should have been called, boogerheide, cause that’s what I had running down the side of my face, my legs, boogers. Also describes the way I felt…hah. Wasn’t as good for me as it could have been, and when you get that, plus lots of mud, plus a World Cup, well…hey it’s the World Cup.
A little bit more sensible, ha ha. Better than World’s on the course 2 years ago but obviously still want a lot better out of myself. But I’m happy. I came here this year to get a taste on a very short trip, on new equipment with new sponsors and after not racing (just training) for 6 weeks in hopes when I come next year with the same sponsors and equipment it will be better than great. This was a year to get back into racing and if I could sum it up after having 6 months to deal with a pretty severe illness which entailed no training for that time, I’d have to say there has been lots of ups and downs, and I and others have been really hard on myself. How do you go from winning lots of races to only having a few wins in one year and a lot of so so results.
Even if I know where I was in July (first day on the bike in months) to now, I do forget and just want my body to better than it was before. Sure enough I’ve had some days like that this year, but then followed it by the next weekend with so, so results. But the remembering of no matter how bad things are going racing it’s not anywhere as bad as the feeling of not being able to get out of bed in the morning. Baby steps.
So more on the race….Today my start was better than last weeks WC race off the plane, got where I wanted to be then bam someone went left to right in the first mud section and pinned me on the fence. So much for a good start today as people were in my way for the next lap and then I started to get going, but…..next challenge was two bikes with slightly similar problems when I went to pit as my bike was weighed down in mud. One was my fault for not riding it before the race and checking it was “A” ok but something was rubbing. The other bike was awesome until someone slammed into me and bent my front derailer. After getting it back clean I couldn’t shift down from big to little for the last two laps but didn’t want to pit for a sub par second bike. All well, I did what I could and fought my way up to top 20 numerous of times only to either jam my chain or flip it over the front chain lots of times and then get passed by the same girls I just got rid of for them to hold me up again in the next technical corner.
I did have a lot of fun and felt like I gave what I could. I was happy with the performance, just not really the circumstances. The course was heavy and we didn’t pre-ride on Saturday leaving only a couple laps today to do. Wish I did a bit more as towards the end I was getting use to what was fast to do in certain sections and what wasn’t but it was bit too late and the mechanical issues were hurting me more than I could make up for. It caused me to run a few sections that I was riding before as the mud was thick and there was no way I could power through it in my big chain ring!
We’d like to thank the great support staff we had, each week it’s getting bigger and better (Luc VDB, Gregg and the Chainstay gang). All the Master’s from North America along the course cheering loud was great, along with the CCA staff and the young guns from the Canadian National team (Ben and Yohan) who I must say had some really strong rides themselves for there first WC’s ever (I think). Karl H. also had a really strong day and should be proud leading into World’s.
So that’s where were at, one week to dial things in a little bit more, head to Germany on Thursday and get use to the environment and course. After the short trip, get the learning done, fly home and take a little break, then prep for the next year to get one step better than where we leave from next weekend. But all in all lay down with what we have at each and every race no matter what the circumstances are!
Greatest part of the day was with the help of Gabby Day, Rick Lister and Dan Ellmore. I got a ride to the race in a sweet camper. Thanks guys for letting me tag along.
Thanks to Luc VDM. for some more great pics.