Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Organized Chaos:Houffalize to London to Sea Otter


Life has definitely felt like a bit of a whirlwind the last few days  It always does in the spring.  Travel seems it’s most intensive and nerves are high with the excitement of a new season and the uncertainty of winter’s form translating into racing results.

Since Houffalize the women of Luna and Canada have been busy.  Our race finished by 1pm on Sunday and by 4 we were en route to Brussels to catch a flight to London.  This was made more chaotic by the fact that I did not finish with podium, press conference and anti-doping until 3 and then had to drive back to our place to shower and eat.  Being spoiled however, I have an awesome support team that had a hot waffle for me post-podium (thanks Waldek, you think of everything!) and the option of flying without a bike as they drove my bike to London so I could go with just a carry-on.  There was no time for a recovery spin, celebrations or phone calls home.  Quick texts and a recovery regiment of sitting in cars and planes were prescribed.

On Monday we were at Hadleigh farm in Essex, England to check out the changes made to the Olympic course.  It was pretty cool to be analyzing lines through a rock garden with all of the fastest riders in the world.  Marie, Emily and I went out for a couple laps together which was fantastic, although post-race sleeps make me hazardous on a bike and I made the call for a short training day.

Monday night we finally got to relax for a bit and celebrate the Houffalize victory 
Left to right Luna mechanic Chris Mathis,  Luna Manager (& top notch TCOB man) Waldek Stepnioski, Team Canada mechanic Scott Kelly and my Coach Dan Proulx  

Tuesday, Emily and I were back out on course racing each other through the A & B lines and into corners for a better appreciation of how the race may play out August 11th.  The course is fast and a lot of fun with several gap jumps and rock drops as well as switch backing and power climbs.  Since the test event, there have been some significant changes with a climb being extended, the base on the main climb altered, 2 rock garden descents added and the course widened for passing.  I think it is a challenging course that will test the riders physically and technically and be an amazing show to watch.

Once again I sit in an airport, this time on my way to Sea Otter, feeling so incredibly lucky to have the support of two amazing teams, Team Luna and Team Canada, my family, to be able to call myself an Olympian, and to be inspired to pursue excellence in sport daily.  Dan, Waldek, Chris, Zak, Keith, mom, dad, Geoff, you guys are a huge part of my success on the bike.  Thank you.

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