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24 June 2008  |  Race Reports

2008 MTB World Championships

When Dusty and I arrived in Val-Di-Sole two days before the Team Relay, we were greeted with cool temperatures and drizzling rain. The next few days brought more of the same and the course was very slick and muddy by race day. I rode a lap before starting my warm-up and crashed a few times, but overall felt pretty good (once again, saved by the Medusa tires- they were awesome on the slippery climbs and descents).

Our relay team was a little different this year: Adam Craig (elite), me (elite), Sam Jurekovic (U-23) and John Bennett (junior). Each of us would race one lap of the course, but each team could decide their own order. We decided to stick with the the same order as last year (where we won a bronze medal) so it was: me, John, Sam and Adam.

Once again, we were the only team to start with a woman, so I lined up with about 20 guys. The start was fast, and I was dropped pretty quickly, but I had the course to myself which was nice. I managed to catch one of the guys and I had two others in my sights on the last climb, but I made a few mistakes, and didn’t wind up having a very fast lap. Everyone rode solidly and we ended up 8th- a little disappointing after last year’s result- but we all tried our best, and that’s all you can do. In any case, it was great to see the course at race-pace, especially in those sloppy conditions.

The next few days the weather improved and the course dried out and got faster and faster. The course was tough- I don’t know if I’ve ever spent as much time in my little ring as I did in that race. The climbs were very steep, but with plenty of passing, and the downhills were short but pretty technical- with lots of roots and rocks.

The weather was forecast to be HOT- something I was not looking forward to, but something that I needed to deal with eventually. Waldek and I decided on a system for me to stay cool- each lap I would take a small bag of ice in the feed zone. I put the ice on the back of my neck (under my skinsuit), in my sports bra, in the front of my skinsuit, pretty much anywhere I could fit it.

I started well, and moved up to 2nd in the first few minutes. As soon as we hit the first steep climb, a few women went around me, but I was still in a pretty good position. I tried to ride a little bit conservatively- I didn’t want to fade like I did in Scotland, and with climbs that steep if you blow up, you’re done like dinner. I also knew it was going to be very hot, so I really hoped for a good, solid race. By the end of the first lap, I had dropped back to 11th or 12th- but I felt pretty good.

Once I dropped back, the race wasn’t too exciting- I went back and forth with a few riders for the next few laps, but I finished strong which was what I wanted. I ended up in 9th- which, while it wasn’t ideal, was solid.

My Dad and Abbi and Timo and Trenor were at the race and also my Aunt Lydia, Uncle Michele, cousins Matteo, Miriam and Brook and their families- it was quite a cheering section out there.

I am so lucky to have such a supportive family!


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