I HATE bad races and writing about them is almost as bad so this will be a short one.
Headed over to Plymouth on Thursday with Mel for the final round of the British national series. There was an impressive field with riders from Canada, New Zealand, Estonia, Sweden, Germany, and former world champ Gunn-rita Dahle of Norway. I was really psyched up for it, a great chance to perform against such world class competition. Pre-riding the day before and legs felt ok after last weekend. The course was tough with several big steep climbs, a couple of freezing cold deep river crossings, and lots of fast but short descents. Unfortunately there was a lot less singletrack than last year and less chance to make up time on technical sections, but nice enough overall.
Race day. Set off up a killer grassy climb that seemed to go on forever. I was at the back of the front riders and rode the lap within reach of where I wanted to be, feeling ok but not amazing. Lap two and I started to go backwards, got passed from behind and struggled to respond. From then onwards just kept going backwards, the whole thing felt like a lot of hard work and I had absolutely nothing to give. There seemed to be some sort of disconnection between my legs and my head, with a store of energy I couldn’t access. No matter how much I wanted to pedal faster, nothing happened. It felt like there was way more climbing that there was descending and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I finished 10th, upset and extremely annoyed with myself. A wasted opportunity and not how I wanted to end the season at all.
Thanks as ever to WXC and all the team sponsors for the support and assistance over the weekend. Also to the organisers for a brilliant series with a great variety of courses and locations, and plenty of world class competition.