5 May 2010 | Race Reports
World Cup #1: Sprint Eliminator
After Katerina and I got picked up from the Manchester airport, we had a 2 hour drive to Dalby Forest- the location of the first World Cup of the season. We arrived, met up with Waldek and Catharine (who had journeyed over on the ferry the night before) ate some lunch, built our bikes and headed over to the course for some pre-riding. Let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like riding a World Cup course after a long day/night of travel and 2 hours of “plane-sleep.” Luckily, at this point in my racing career I know myself well enough to know that I am going to ride like a sissy for a few laps while I get my bearings. I did a couple laps, and then we grabbed some delicious Indian food, and headed back to our little cottage. I got a solid 12 hours of sleep and had a mellow Friday as I rested up for the “Pro Sprint Eliminator” which was going to take place Friday evening in downtown Pickering.
What, you may ask, IS the Pro Sprint Eliminator? It is a new spectator-friendly event right in downtown. The course was about 2 minutes long and consisted of a few short climbs, plenty of corners, a (downhill) set of stairs, and a sketchy alley-way descent covered in a few inches of gravel. We had heard that the course was all on pavement so we had changed to skinny slick tires which made for some sketchy riding. Anyway, the race started with each rider completing a 1 lap time trial. They then took the top 16 women and the top 32 men and ran 1 lap heats ( 4 riders in each race) with the top-2 in each race progressing to the next round. There were only 15 women in our race, so there was no need the destroy it on the time trial- we would all qualify. I ended up finishing 14th. Then, in the first race, I was a little slow off the start and ended up playing catch-up the whole lap. I finished 3rd, behind Eva Lechner and Katerina. Which meant I was eliminated. But Katerina made it to the next round and eventually ended up finishing 3rd and winning some sweet moo-lah.
All in all I was impressed with the event (although I think the course could have been a little safer). There was a huge turn-out of spectators and a great atmosphere in downtown. I think it makes sense to have more than just one race at the World Cups- it would give more exposure to the sponsors and teams and more opportunities for racers that might have bad luck in one of the races.