Thursday, May 27, 2010

All you need to know about how our household approaches bike racing

When you are all out of Bubble gum...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp_K8prLfso

Huge congrats to my housemate Catherine Vipond on her second career Canada Cup win! Watch out for this gal! Matt hadley also kicked some but finishing 5th in the men's elite race. They are both racing next weekend at the Hardwood hills Canada Cup where

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Yes I am still just a little excited


Wow. Now that was a good day! (check out more Photos video interviews and coverage by Rob Jones at Canadiancyclist.com)

After two weeks at home, some gardening and fun rides with Keith I felt recharged and ready to race. I felt like I could push the pedals hard and that mentally I had more desire for racing. I carried this good energy with me to Offenburg.

One day out from racing the sun came out and the course went from slick to perfect by race day. Everyone was visibly and audibly cheered by the good conditions. We also lucked out with our hotel (Edy's) having an amazing restaurant and we treated ourselves to gourmet food each evening.

The town and race in Offenburg is definitely one of my favourites. The countryside is beautiful and the course fun and twisty. I went into the racing hoping to grab the lead before the first single track, but a rider veering into me right off the start altered that plan. Instead it was Georgia who took the lead and quickly established a strong tempo. I settled into my familiar game of catch up working my way through the field until I had reached Georgia by the second descent. Georgia and I then rode together for about 2 laps. There were a lot of chasers behind us though and my coach Dan was invaluable on course giving us splits.


By 3rd lap it was time to go so I dug in for the climbing legs. For the next 3 laps the gap between Georgia and I was anywhere from 10 to 28 seconds with Marie Helene and Ester Suss chasing hard. Everything went perfectly for me though. My bike worked well, I was smooth in the woods and aggressive everywhere I needed to be attacking hills and descents. It felt so great to be riding at the front, and motivating to have Georgia right there with me. Of my 3 world cup wins I think this was the hardest earned. With such a tight field I could never relax.

Coming into the finish was pretty emotional. I knew my parents and Keith would be watching on freecaster and my team thrilled with Georgia and I pulling off the 1,2 at a world cup. (Katerina had decided to sit out this round, but I'm sure she would have been up there too.) My icing on the cake was learning I would also be taking over the World cup overall title and jersey.



So for Luna it was 1,2, top team and World cup leader. Pretty sweet for less than a week in Europe! I don't know how many liters of Champagne and beer we won, but it was a lot! The spectators were amazing and so loud all race. Thank you!

Waldek, Georgia, Me and Chris. The Luna team was smooth operating perfection this weekend. Part of the top team was my coach Dan, who's feedback on course was invaluable.

We capped off the day with some champagne, lots of toasts and great food. Offenburg was the first race that we start collecting Nation points for positions in London 2012. With my win and Marie-Helene Premont's fourth Canada now leads the way for the women.

Emily Batty had a rough day, flatting before a drop, crashing as a result and breaking a wheel. She was able to recover and keep racing, but it made for a tough Day. Amanda Sin also had a great day finishing 29th. On the men's side Kabush finished a solid 15th out of 200 finishers and Derek Zandstra overcame the heat to hold onto 66th. thanks for the sweet lines Derek!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Offenburg



Ahh Germany, where they sell beer in vending machines for the same price as water. Unlike the previous 2 world cups that started sunny and rained race day, Offenburg is reversing the trend with slick mud leading into the race and promises of sunny skies and dry(er) race conditions. The course is the exact same as previous years, fun and deceptively physically fatiguing. My coach Dan headed out for a lap with me and we laughed our way around the slippery course. I started on a fast rolling tire, but was sliding all over. A quick switch to Ignitors though and I was grinning ear to ear as i played in the mud.

Offenburg is surrounded by vineyards and I have to admit feeling rather spoiled as I stair out of my bed up at a castle.

Yes I was lying in bed taking a picture of what I see from the balcony!

Race in T minus 26 hrs

Mischief managed

Ha, ha now that I have raced well it is safe to post this!!!

When I'm home I feel like i'm always getting into mischief, at least from my husband's perspective. When he comes home from work I am often surrounded by the evidence of my latest whim. Sometimes it's bike components that came apart easily enough, but don't want to go back together. Other times it is intensive -house altering work like stripping the paint from our stairs or building some piece of furniture. Often I undertake projects without quite realizing how much work will be involved and am in over my head when he gets home.

It's like the Marauder's map in Harry Potter, where after devising their latest scheme, which inevitably gets them in trouble, they snap their wand and say mischief managed to make the map and it's incriminating details disappear. For me it's when I look at the time and realize Keith will be home in 10 minutes from work so I should really go clean up my sprawl of crap before he sees what I have gotten myself into and, will inevitably need his assistance to get out of. Luckily he is often amused.

What can I say, I like to learn by trial and error. My latest project has been xeriscaping our front yard. It just feels wrong to be watering it enough to keep a lawn green through a Kamloops summer. So every ride I do I am distracted by what shrubs my neighbours have or where good stashes of rocks and mulch might be found.

Phase 1 of the yard has actually gone quite well and I am happy to say my yard looks good (at least in my opinion) and I did it completely without relying on outside help...well maybe I relied heavily on Art Knapp staff for their knowledge. The city of Kamloops also gives out some pretty excellent guide books at the market too.

Working on the yard was a good mental distraction from the cycling world and has left me feeling more energized for life, riding and my garden.
Here is Phase 1.




Phase 2 will be taking care of the portion along the sidewalk and the hard to mow slope with some warm coloured rocks. Maybe a japanese maple and a diablo ninebark, lots more mulching and some dandelion removal!

Houffalize

Seeing as I race World cup 3 tomorrow, thought I should finally post on WC 2!

So what do you do with yourself for 4 days of light training and heavy recovery when you're out on a farm in Belgium with no internet, phones of english tv? Rides and yoga in the am and a pot of coffee, good books and chatting in the afternoon. We were pretty stir crazy by the end of the week so went out to the "Big city" of Bastogne for some delicous thai food. I got to practice my french a bit in Belgium which is always good and some forced recovery probably wasn't bad either.

After another sunny week, like Dalby it rained race morning. This time it didn't just rain though, it poured. Luckily we now had our mechanic Zak with us and he got us changed over to some gripper maxxis tires for the super slick course.

Determined to not have a repeat of Dalby I had a stellar start and entered the woods in the top group. Unfortunately a couple crashes on the first descent meant that 3 women got off the front. Houffalize was a frustrating race for me. I feel I had the legs, but was slipping and sliding so much on the descents I got tentative and couldn't get into a good rhythm. I was close to the lead for much of the race, but never got to the front and although I did nab that last podium position this week I again got out ridden for a spot near the end. A 5th tells me I'm on track, but I'm still hungry for a result higher up on that podium.
Although not the Luna train in pursuit of the previous weekend we still claimed the top team position with my 5th, Katerina's 9th and Georgia's 14th and got to celebrate with some gigantic beers.