Monday, 28 April 2008

Race Day

Section of the course called "Dual Speed"

Got up nice and early, had a huge bowl of porridge, sat with the window open and enjoyed the really nice sunny German weather…and got ready for the race. Sunday was the second World Cup of the season in Offenburg, Germany, and I was totally expecting a mudfest after reports from last year and the forecast from the week. But we were all very pleasantly surprised by the 24ish degree heat and lots of sunshine come Sunday morning…I definitely couldn’t have been happier.

Warm-up felt good, my legs finally felt like they were coming back to life…maybe the flu/food poisoning from two weeks ago took a little more out of me then I would have liked to admit. My start position was 59 this week, one up from last week. Not great, but considering how painful last week was, I’m definitely not complaining. The start laps were fast and short, 2 laps of the 1.1 km loop with a really steep climb in the middle. I started off pretty good, but kept getting pinched out by other racers just clawing their way forward. Each time on the steep climb I was able to punch it and pass a number of girls.

The first three laps I found extremely painful, I just couldn’t settle into a rhythm and I found myself very quickly dropping farther and farther back in the pack. I was able to stick on Alison Sydor’s wheel for about a half lap (that’s a really cool feeling..I mean, she’s a living Canadian mountain bike legend), but soon lost contact. Soon afterwards, Emily Batty passed me easily, and I almost lost contact with her wheel, but that’s when my legs finally decided to come out and play.

By the end of the fourth lap, I was told I was in about 45th position, but with a number of positions just ahead. There isn’t a lot of climbing all at once in this course, so it’s deceiving I think, and a lot of people go out really hard and the bonk creeps up on you….there was aver 1100m of climbing over the entire race, so that isn’t shabby. I was feeling great, and picking riders off like a mad woman..hehe, it was awesome. It’s an absolutely amazing experience racing here, the organizers created a walking loop for the spectators that was really easy to navigate, they had various food vendors out on the course, and announcers at a couple of the difficult drops commentating and just raising the excitement of the crowd that much more. Having almost 20,000 people lining the course, watching and cheering definitely gives you the goose bumps, it’s a neat atmosphere.

By the end of the sixth and final lap, I had managed to move my way up to 29th position (I actually had to sprint for 29th…kind of feel like a dork sprinting for 29th, but I mean, that’s start positions and UCI points….come on). I’m really happy with how the race unfolded, going from almost in tears because everything was moving in slow motion to feeling and riding great….maybe next weekend in Madrid I’ll feel that way the whole race J

After the race while watching the men’s race, which is always really cool to watch, I wandered around trying to find some authentic German food to try from one of the vendors… I ended up opting out, everything smelt really, really good and greasy, but my post race belly just wasn’t interested in having any of it….so I totally flaked on the German beer and food. I wish I had enough room in my bags to bring home some beer, you can by a 750ml locally brewed beer for under a euro. Oh well, at least I got to enjoy a killer dessert!!!!

Well, I’m off for a ride and then playing tourist in Switzerland.

Thank you everyone for your support and good lucks.



DalRock said...

WHOA! that looks gnarly! and the race course too :0)

Noel said...

Hey! Congratulations Mical!! So stoked to read about your excellent race. Keep rollin' Euro-style, hope to see you out at a Mayhem race at some point this summer.

cheers | noel.

Poyote said...

The dual speed trail. That looks like so much fun.. I would have probably hurt myself, but it still would have been fun.

Poyote said...

oh yeah.. If you run into some people that speak german. Call them (shiesten hosen).. means shitty pants...

BikingBakke said...

Got the results last night off canadian cyclist, and was pumped to hear the story. How does the starting seeding work? Presumeably you'll move up quite a bit with the great new result?