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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!


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