After Arizona, I was treated to some home time. With all the rain that always seems to come while I'm away Kamloops is a lovely green (for Kamloops), little veggies and flowers are starting to poke out of the garden and I am toying with my yearly Reno ideas. Before I can get up to too much destruction however I am off to England and the 2nd world cup race in Dalby Forest.
I really like the course in Dalby. It's a fast course with some fun technical challenges. Last year the start proved to be critical and the course hard to move up on if you had any challenges. Team luna would be returning to our comfy self catered cottage, a renovated stable with an inner courtyard and about 10 mother and foal couplings in the back paddock. Zak saved the day when after hearing a large crash he found a foal tangled up in a fence with both hind legs in the air. Grabbing his wire cutters he freed the foal with the owner's help and the foal was back to his blitzing around.
Diner again at Spice 4 you, ah Indian food! A staple while traveling in the UK.
Traveling and training were good. I seem to sleep well in Dalby and race day I felt ready. I had a fantastic start, for me, only to have 2 riders go down in front of me across the trail in the first single track. Now I was leading the chase and hoping to regain contact with the leaders. It took almost the full lap to clear traffic, but a massive effort took me into 2nd position with Ren in my sights. Remounting after the run up I realized my chain had dropped and as I put it back on and got going 3 women passed me and I was back in 5th.
I felt good and raced strong and moved up to 3rd, still seeking the lead, but I had used my super match and could neither get up to the lead two nor get a safe margin ahead of the chase group of 4 behind me. In the final 10 minutes I came very close to Ren. I turned on the turbo diesel, but then the terrain went from flat to hilly and the torque faded. Rather than bridging up to Ren I watched first an unknown rider (Anika Langvad) and then Sabine Spitz pass me. Not much later Eva Lechner and Maja bridged up to me and passed me into the run up. I followed them in and was able to pass Maja afterwards when I saw she was letting a gap form between her and Eva, but she grabbed my wheel and Eva had gotten the gap. Into the final minute and Maja goes by me again in the bmx track. From 3rd to 7th in the final 10 minutes of a 1hr 40 race. Tough love. Races that allow groups to stick together are always so interesting and results always seem to only tell part of the story.
Katerina was riding strong in about 6th most of the race before puncturing on a fast rocky descent, while Georgia got pushed back to the 30's off the start and worked all race to get up to the top 15. Marie-Helene finished 11th after some derailleur issues and Emily took 15th. Not a bad day for Canadian women, but we're looking for more!