After a disappointing race it can take longer to put up a report. What do you say when you’re not at all happy with the results of a race and that race happened to be World Champs and you went in feeling capable of getting a medal but instead get 20th?
You focus on the positives, what was good and how that can make you great in the future. There were a ton of great things about this trip. The atmosphere on team Canada is so fun and supportive. I loved going out training with the team and although I feel that as a veteran I should be the mentor, I often feel with the new style of courses that it is the younger athletes that are showing me what I am capable of!
After Peter Disera took silver for Canada in the Jr. men’s race he said he loved every lap riding into the logs (an incredibly steep log staircase that had me more than a little nervous after watching Sabine re-break her collarbone in front of me). That’s the attitude I wanted; to be excited to ride the section of the course that scared me most. His winning attitude and that of all the other amazing riders on the team helped me get there so thanks Peter.
Before the race I had been through huge fluctuations in nerves, confidence, desire and even a day of bed rest from food poisoning or a bug, but by Friday I had great energy, mental and physical. I felt rested, confident and ready to have a great race.
Not having the best 12 months of racing my uci points were low and I was lining up 3rd row. The start turned out amazingly thanks to the help of fellow Canadian racer Andreanne Pichette who flew past me and I was able to grab her wheel and follow her to the front.
It could not really have worked out any better. I was in 6th position going into the amphitheater (the sections with the drops and logs), but then I washed out on a loose corner entering the section and had to run the drop. I lost a couple spots having to get out of the way of gals on their bikes behind me, but was still in the top 10.
For 3 laps I maintained position. I felt good, but not awesome. Near the end of lap 3 I crashed exiting the large rock garden. Crashing in rocks is never fun and having recently broken a bone every sensation of pain has you thinking that you broke something, but what broke was maybe my spirit. I was tired of getting hurt of fighting back, but fighting for the front is what sport is about and nothing makes you feel worse than having given up.
So I got myself and my bike back together to finish the race knowing that every lap I would get to ride past all the Canadian U23 and jr riders cheering me on. It’s definitely tough to only be passed in a race rather than overtaking, to have high expectations and fall short, but every day you have to do the best with what you have that day. That day 19 women had more so I will press the reset button and enjoy my next stop, Switzerland after some great riding and team building in Africa and before heading to Norway for World Cup finals. Yeah, life is still pretty good.
Thanks to everyone that made the trip so great especially Sandra and Maghs for all the words of wisdom and fun times on and off the bike and Dan for creating an awesome team dynamic.
Team tough Canada at the start of the dh course. Fun exploration on top of the mtn!
Safari. Best moment getting our jeep stuck in bushes? or "Is that an Ant hill? No that is an Ant hill."
Uphobia tree. Hallucinogenic for rhinos or a fisherman's aid
Blurry all you can eat sushi post race in Durban. First time for a sushi sandwich
Coach Dan by my side.