18 August 2011 | Misc
World Cup #6: Nove Mesto Race Report
Sucky races are always hard to write about. I guess because I am usually pretty ready to move on and not rehash all the suck. But, since some of you are curious about the suck, I will try to somehow make sense of it.
I was feeling great in my pre-ride- legs were good, and though I wasn’t “ruling” the downhills, I was feeling decent. Race day came, and I was just “off.” I was having a hard time focusing, and I felt like the 2 hours before the race went really fast- all of a sudden they were calling us to the start, and I felt unprepared. I had a decent initial start, but by midway through the start loop I was back in the twenties somewhere, wondering what happened.
Ah yes, riding with the riff-raff. Everyone all panicky, riding out of control, yelling at each other… I made a few sweet passes- at one point we were all off our bikes on a steep, technical climb, and I ran by 4 or 5 people who were content to merely hike with their bikes. When I came through the start/finish after the start loop (which was basically half a lap), I saw on the clock that I was already 1 minute down. Already. After 9 minutes. Geez. I put my head down, tried to settle in, made up a few spots in the next lap, and then…I just kind of stayed there, riding around in 15th or 16th with a few riders in sight but no ability to close down the gaps. I was riding downhill like…it was my first time on a bike. I didn’t crash- I wasn’t riding fast enough to warrant crashing. I just couldn’t push it on the downhills. So, I would close down gaps on the climbs only to see them open back up on the (relatively) short downhills.
I was able to pick off a few more riders that blew up or had mechanicals, but mostly I was just plodding along at my own pace: just me vs the course, and the course was definitely kicking my ass. I finished 14th I think. Not really sure- think I’ve already started blocking it out…
That’s the toughest kind of race for me: the one where you don’t really know what happened or why you sucked. Were my legs good? I think so, but looking at my result I want to say they weren’t. Was I riding like crap because I got a crappy start and didn’t make the front group? Was it psychological or physical? Both? That’s a hard thing about racing- separating out how you felt or how you were riding from the actual place that you finished. It can be tough.
So needless to say I was pretty bummed, especially after having such a great race in London and then really good training in Italy leading up to the race in Czech. I was looking forward to not being jetlagged for a European World Cup for once. But I guess I’ll get another chance this weekend. Hopefully things will go a little better. On second thought…hopefully things will go A LOT better!