24 December 2008 | Race Reports
World Cup Nommay: Race Report
After pre-riding the Nommay course, I was really looking forward to the race. The course was mostly flat with a few short steep climbs that could potentially turn into run-ups depending on how muddy it got. The ground was very soft (read: slow) from all the rain, but there were a few sections of gravel road and pavement as well. Perhaps the most surprising thing was that after the start straightaway, the course turned 180 degrees into a set of stairs. That was sure to be a cluster on the first lap.
I got called up on the 3rd row which wasn’t too bad, but I lost a bunch of spots anyway. In any case, once people settled down a bit I was able to move up steadily. At the end of the first lap I was in 7th riding in a 5-person chase group (Katie and Hanka were riding together off the front). My legs were feeling good, and I was riding well in the sloppy conditions- I was actually having fun. Towards the end of the 3rd lap, I opted to run a short section that the other women were trying to ride, and I got a little gap on the chase group. Heading into the 4th lap, I really tried to stretch the gap out on the pavement. When I came through the pit on the last lap Dusty yelled, “you have to pick it up!” I thought, “whoa, I thought I had a pretty good gap!” but then Dusty said, “Hanka’s right there, you can get her!” I dug deep and could see that I was reeling her in.
The last time through the pit Hanka took a bike and I didn’t, and she ended up running a super boggy section that I rode. I lost a bit of time there, but as soon as she got back on her bike I started reeling her in again. I ran out of time and ended up finishing in 3rd just 5 seconds back from Hanka and 25 seconds back from Katie. I am so excited to have such a great result at a World Cup, and I am really looking forward to the next few races coming up.
After the race I changed quickly and headed to the pits to help Dusty with the guys. I knew how important clean bikes would be, and there was no way that one person could pit for 2 people. I got there in time to see Dusty standing in line for the bike wash with 2 muddy bikes. I grabbed Jamie’s bike and the craziness began. First of all it was a left-hand pit which meant that everybody was standing on the right side of the pit lane and then having to cross the pit lane to get to the bike wash. That of course ended up in numerous near misses and bikes getting tangled up. Some riders would ride in, throw their bike on the ground and be yelling and riding crazy. Ryan and Jamie were awesome- super smooth and calm, and they were in and out pretty quick. We had barely enough time to wash the bikes before they would come back through- there was no way they could have pitted 2 times a lap (unless we had more people and more spare bikes). Needless to say, the race went by fast. Neither of the guys had great races- they both felt pretty bad, but I thought they did a good job anyway.
After the race, we all piled in the van and drove 7 hours to Ieper, Belgium where we are staying for the rest of the trip. The road riding here is great- there are endless tiny farm roads, a few hills and plenty of kamikaze drivers to keep you on your toes. The weather has been great- even though it’s gray and damp out, the temperature has been pretty warm, and we’ve been able to get out for some nice rides.