Well after only 56 hours at home I was back at the airport. This time headed for Park city Utah and stop 4 on the NMBS circuit. Immigration issues meant a missed flight and 8hrs at the Vancouver airport before I could get a flight to Utah. Chris was there to pick me up and dropped me and my bike off 8 miles from the venue to get a little spin in before bed.
The course in Deer Valley is wicked. It starts with a good climb and then sends you into fast sweeping singletrack. There were tons of sharp corners where I had to learn to perfect my rear wheel slide or give up gobs of time. There were 3 major climbs, 2 of which were switchbacking singletrack and 2 long descents.
The venue is at 8000ft and the altitude was noticeable with the amount of time my heart rate was hanging out above 170. Waldek set the goal for me of winning the start – to prep for world cups where I have been sucking off the line. I had a decent start, but didn’t win it so decided I’d make up for it on the first climb and did it as a tt. About 2 minutes into the descent I had that irony taste in my mouth. Ahh altitude. Georgia and Katerina bridged up to me and we came in lap 1 together which was fun. On the climb Katerina and I peeled away from Georgia. Finishing lap 2 we were all close together, but not right on each others wheels. Katerina passed me when I shot off a hairpin corner and opened a gap. Going into last lap we were all in site of each other. I managed to hold on to 2nd until mid lap when Georgia came storming by me on a climb. I tried to go with her, but my legs just felt gross and it became my mission not to loose time or positions. After such a strong first half of the race I was a bit disappointed with 3rd, but my teammates were just descending and climbing better than me. My goal will be to become as good of racers as them. Fitness is only part of the game.