The internet here in Europe has been predictably unreliable and each time I sit down to write an update, the wifi signal wanders and I lose all my momentum. So, for the third day I’m attempting to post an update and rewriting what I wrote the day before.
Nove Mesto na Morave World Cup
My race in the Czech Republic did not end well as I was pulled before the final lap and only managed 55th place. I definitely had the most impressive backwards trajectory during the second half of the race as over the course of five laps (plus a start loop), my place went something like this 19-19-23-36-55. Ouch. So what happened? On lap three, I had bobbled on a couple downhill sections and lost a couple of places, no big deal. But it unnerved me a bit and when we hit the “Rock Drop” section, which was aptly named as it was simply a steep rock face with an abrupt transition at the bottom, I botched it and crashed. I wasn’t that hurt, but I banged my elbow and hip pretty bad and it scared the crap out of me. I’m still not that comfortable with crashing and it’s something I need to work on. It seemed like half the women in the top-10 took a digger (or a few) on course but were still finishing strong. After my crash and a brief stop in a tech zone, I went backwards faster than I thought possible.
I was pretty frustrated with myself at the end of the race. It was thrilling to ride in the top-20 of a World Cup and I was proud of myself for getting up there after a 65th call-up and hanging on as long as I did. The pace wasn’t so out of my league, I just choked and floundered and generally sucked. And there’s no hiding at a World Cup.
On the up side, I couldn’t have been more stoked about our USA Cycling support crew—Marc, Michel, Julia, Shaums and Jan. Marc takes care of logistics and registration, Michel and Jan the bikes, Julia looks after us and does massage and Shaums is our technical coach. The whole crew rocks and I’m pretty motivated to pull through with a decent result this next weekend—I know I have it in me.
A little down time, sans internets
We left for Albstadt, Germany on Monday morning. I wanted to fit in a training ride in the Czech countryside since it’s so beautiful and we actually had some sunshine that day. So I took the travel day as an opportunity to do a point-to-point ride and selected my route using Google Maps “walking” directions. So I pedaled 60 km from Nove Mesto na Morave to Humpolec on tiny roads, at times no wider than the width of a small car. I pedaled through a dozen different towns, each with old stone homes with immaculate gardens and commanding churches. While my trips to Europe have been very short and focused around racing, I don’t think I’d want to travel without a bike. Pedaling is always the best way to see things.
We broke up the 7 hour drive to Albsadt, Germany with a stop in Plzen, Czech Republic at the Plzen Urquell Brewery. We just missed an official brewery tour but went on our own walking tour of the historic downtown.
Since we’ve been in Albstadt, a little jet lag finally started to settle in and I’ve struggled with sleep a bit. Otherwise, I’m feeling relaxed and I’ve had some good training sessions on the race course. Plus there’s been time to nap during the day. We’re staying in a comfortable hotel near the race venue and life has kind of revolved around meal times and the availability of internet.
Thanks for checking in and a huge thanks to all my sponsors who make it possible for me to race. I'll post pictures as soon as I can!
Check out the Red Bull video replays here.