Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Still Racing

Ya, I know, I've very much fallen off the blog bandwagon....okay, back in the saddle. A fair bit has happened in the past two weeks since Mont St Anne, week trip down to Windham, NY for another World Cup, then out to Canmore for Canadian Nationals.

First off, Windham World Cup. Oh wait, we stopped by Lake Placid on the drive down to take in some post Olympic magic, and enjoy a good old American 4th of July. It was a pretty jammed packed overnight stay. Did some awesome trail riding, went swimming (or flouncing in the Lake), ate at one of two remaining Howard Johnson restaurants (9.95$ all you can eat taco buffet....oh ya!!!), and watched the 4th of July fireworks.

On to Windham, it's one of those classic mountain bike courses that the US is known for, with one long climb and one long decent. I really enjoy with course, the climbing is long and steady with only a few really steep sections. And the downhill is fast and rough, and a little technical through a couple of sections. I had a much better race here then at Mont Ste Anne, finishing 40th, but I know I've still got better in me somewhere.

This past weekend was Canadian Nationals in Canmore, Alberta......miss this place for sure. It was probably one of the funnest courses that I've ridden. Technical climbing, tight fast technical descending and of course Soft Yogurt.......the fast new pump track inspired descent!!! Overall, it kinda felt like there was more descending then climbing....of course I'm gonna love it!! Matt Hadley and his crew did an awesome job of building the course and Ed Garvin and the his Cyclemeisters did an awesome job of laying it out and hosting the weekend.....Thanks!

After another week of rest, I felt good going into the race. I had my typical good start, but I right off the bat I was having troubles pushing myself into the race zone. I found myself racing back and forth with BC's Brandi Heisterman, she'd smoke me on the climbs and I'd make up time on the downhills. We played back and forth for most of the race, but at the end she a had a little more gas then me and ended up pulling away. Jean Ann Berkenpas had an early bike issue and I could tell she was charging hard to catch back up. Going up the final climb into back into the stadium I found a little more in the tank and pushed myself to stay ahead of her. I held on to 8th place, and totally gooned at the finish. Not the placing I was aiming for, not the feeling I was hoping for, but I left it all out on the course and it was the best race I could have had on the day.

Sunday was the team relay I had the opportunity to race as the last rider for team BC. One lap of a slightly shortened course, all out as hard and as fast as you can go!!! Neil Kindree got us off to a great start, Evan Guntrie continued to extend out lead and Quinn Moberg hammered hard to give me a minute buffer going into my final lap. Of course, I had Adam Morka and Derek Zanstra chasing me down, but I was determined to hold them off as long as I could. I hammered hard out of the gate and up the climb.....which at full gas feels a lot longer and harder then I remembered. Adam caught just before the top of the climb, shortly before hitting the singletrack descent, and I didn't have the gas to respond as he passed me and hammered by. Popping out near the stadium to loop through the eye dropper and down into Soft Yogurt, I had about a minute lead still on Derek. It's amazing how fast that minute can disappear, I was ready to give him a shove off the trail when he passed me on the final climb back into the finish. We managed to hang on for a great 3rd place!!! Thanks guys.

After the relay podium, we all scrambled to get changed and help out as ambassadors for the Fast and Female clinic hosted at the Canmore Nordic center. 40 plus, 9-19 year girls learning different mountain bike skills and that it's fun to be active. It was a great turnout and a really cool event to be a part of!!!

Now I'm hanging out in Calgary, relaxing with my parents and their new dog :) I've got the Edmonton Canada Cup this weekend, then the TR 3 in 3 weeks, then......I'm not really too sure what the rest of my season is going to look like right now....but I'll keep you posted.

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