25 July 2010 | Race Reports
Race Report: World Cup #4: Champery, Switzerland
Well, THAT was a bummer.
We arrived in Champery just in time for all the rain. It poured all day on Thursday and Friday, and the course turned into a sloppy mess. I didn’t think it would be very beneficial to ride the course in that condition so I stayed off it on Friday and Saturday I headed out for a couple laps. The course was chewed up enough that there were several descents that I didn’t even try to ride, and some sections were so slow and energy-sapping that I decided that more pre-riding could be counter-productive.
After Saturday’s training session, the organizers put a bunch of gravel down to make some of the sections more rideable, but since the juniors raced right before us, there wasn’t any time to get on the course and check it out before the start.
I had a good start, and was riding in 5th by the end of the start loop. I managed to hold on to 5th for another lap, but then my race started to go downhill fast (just to be clear- I wasn’t going downhill fast, the quality of my riding was going downhill fast…) I was flailing in all the technical sections and literally could not get out of my own way. I was running a lot of the downhills — I don’t like riding things for the first time during a race — but it was killing my legs. Nothing like running straight down a steep downhill to make your legs feel like blocks of concrete. Katerina came by me on the second lap and said “come on, let’s go!” Ah, if only I could have. She was flying through the technical stuff (and ended up with a podium finish), and I was anything but smooth. After another group of 4 passed me all at once, I had the boo-boo lip.
I was feeling pretty good on the climbs, and making up a lot of time on the women in front of me, but it was depressing losing so much time in the technical stuff. Finally, on the 4th (out of 5) lap, I pulled my head out of my ass and started riding a little more smoothly. It wasn’t enough to make up any spots, but I stopped getting passed, and just held my position (11th) for the rest of the race.
Yes, I’m disappointed- but I didn’t get hurt, and I still had a pretty solid race considering how spectacularly awful I was riding. My legs are sore from all the downhill running, but it’s nothing a day of riding in the beautiful Swiss alps can’t fix…and maybe beating Waldek in a few town-line sprints will sharpen me up for next weekend’s world cup in Italy…