It's been a little bit of a different and slower season for me. I've decided to go back to my adult job again (thought I've quickly missed my freedom and my life) and have raced and ridden a lot less than normal....and definitely a lot less then I would like. I find I'm in a little bit of a tough position right now; I'm really excited for all the other things in life that I've missed out on with focusing on racing....but I still really love racing. I want it all!!
This past weekend was the my third CX World Cup of the 2016/2017 season. My first WC in Vegas went a lot better then I was expecting, my second WC in Iowa ended in a long run due to a snapped rear derailleur/hanger and besides the amazing local series and Canadian Nationals it's been a slower race season then the past couple of years. I was sad to miss out on the Kerstperiod this season, though really happy to spend the Christmas season at home (however working over the holidays wasn't my first choice). So that left me really excited to be in Europe for the final World Cup in Hoogerheide and World Championships in Luxembourg.
Having lost a lot of UCI points from not racing my start position was a bit of a kick in rear, but I've always enjoying racing from the back. This year Hoogerheide was unlike anything that I thought possible for this area of the Nederlands.......dry, frozen and extremely fast. I came prepared for a cyclocross race and was shocked to have to race a crit in January against the fastest women in the world. Typically I rely on my technical skills to make me competitive, but this race was pure fitness, something I'm sad to say has taken a little hit this year (could be all those pastries I'm really really enjoying this year).
Fifth row call up wasn't horrible for a field of 76, but with a straight shot road start, it wasn't easy to make any spots off the start. I definitely burnt a few too many matches on the first lap trying to move up as much as I could.....panic sets in a little when you see the lead of the race five corners ahead by the time you hit the dirt. By the end of the second lap I managed to move myself up as far are top 25, lap 3 and 4 I had to dial back a little. When the Belgian Loes Sels who I ended up racing around a lot last year, passed me I was finally told myself to suck it up and get moving! In the final lap catching Caroline Mani going into a tight treed section, she dismounted right in front of me to run so I was left with no choice but to dismount as well. As soon as my foot hit the frozen ground I was on the ground. I really wish someone had a video of it because I think I was up and running again all in the same stride...I feel like it looked like I meant to do it haha. I managed to pass Caroline shortly after only to have to attack my running up the Red Bull stairs (remember to practice stairs in the future). Digging deep I grabbed her wheel through the last corner and attacked on the road finish to take 30th place.
Although this is my worst placing at Hoogerheide, I'm actually really happy with how the race went and it was an amazing way to blow out all the "gunk" from a month of working on a boat and jet lag! This week has been a great week of pastry eating, watching pre-rides of the course and some opener work for the legs. I'm really excited to see what the Luxembourg course has in store....it looks technical!!!