Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Louisville 2013

Well, that's a wrap, and there's absolutely no better way to cap off the season then with Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky.  They did an amazing job with the event and I don't think there is a single bad thing I can say about the week, especially considering the conditions they had to deal with.  Regan and I arrived monday night into Louisville to 21 degrees shorts weather, yes, hot and wet.  Shannon raced the Master 45-49 womens qualifier on tuesday (the only women's qualifier for some reason), and Kenny raced the Master 40-44 men's qualifier on wednesday to both move on to the finals.

That night you could feel the temperature drop fast, and we got a call at 4:30 am from the front desk with a tornado warning, yes, tornado hit Louisville.  Huddled in the laundry room with 10 other people at 4 in the morning, awesome!  Followed quickly by rain, sheets and buckets and tonnes of rain.  Then snow!

The already chewed up Masters course went from bad to worse, but Shannon still rocked a 2nd place on Thursday and Kenny a 10th place on Friday (without the aid of a bike wash - frozen lines and power washers...ooops), while Regan and Richie worked tirelessly, chipping, scraping, spraying, just to keep a couple gears on the bike somewhat functional.

The Elite races were scheduled for Sunday with the U23 and juniors on Saturday, but with the forecasted flood looking ever more likely, the UCI moved all the races to Saturday.  Minor kink in the prep plans for the race, but everyone is in the same boat, so Saturday morning after a good inch of fresh snow and -10 it was race day for me.  Like I've said, I really wasn't too sure how good my fitness was going into this race, I've worked hard to stay motivated up north and do the time, so I was really, really nervous for this race.  Thanks to the Pro City race team killing me the previous Saturday, I did know that I still knew how to suffer :-)

Third row call up, not great, but at least not 4th row haha.  It wasn't a huge field, but all of the top players were definitely there at the start line.  I had a great start, definitely the best part of all my races, avoided a big crash off the start that took out the back of the pack, and took a couple low off camber lines that allowed me to pass 5 girls at a time!  At the top of the steep limestone stairs I found myself behind Katie Compton (who didn't seem to be having a great time on her bike), but it flashed through my head, maybe I can stay with her!!  Came through the start finish on lap 1 in 9th place...WOW!!!  But I quickly felt my slight lack of fitness starting to set into my legs and started making a lot of errors on the 2nd lap....which ended up costing me a lot of placings and time.  Slippery off camber and frozen ruts are not my friend when slightly cross eyed.

Lap 3 I slowly started getting my rhythm back slightly worked my way back into the race.  Had a good battle with Pepper Harlton again, but lost her when she dabbed in the sand pit.  Fought and finished in 19th place at my first World Championships for Cyclocross, and easily one of the best cycling events I've ever been to.  Watching the men's race was absolutely amazing!!!  My Stan's IronCross wheels worked fantastic in the icy mud with Kenda Kwickers at 22 psi...yes, 22 psi with no problems.  My Ridley X-Fire was flawless, along with my Lazer Helmet and Aeroshell (single best cyclocross accessory), and my Sidi Spyders.....we easily have some of the best gear around.  Thank you Shannon and Kenny for all the hard work you've put into the team making it run so smoothly.  Thank you Regan for making my bike work super smoothly like always.  Thank you Richie and Aaron for fantastic race pit set up, and Cindy for everything!!  Including the underground Zip-lining!  And thank you to Louisville and all the fans, especially all the crazy Canucks that made the trip down south to cheer!!

Officially in fat and sassy season, bringing my xc skies up to Fort McMurray this rotation, not even worrying about a bike for a couple of weeks.....but really jazzed about the Cannondale Scalpel coming soon!

Photos Courtesy of Kenny Wehn