Monday evening I arrived home after an easy trip over the Atlantic. I flew from Stuttgart to London Heathrow to Phoenix, where I hopped on the shuttle bus to Prescott. I left my Jet 9 RDO with Team USA over in Europe so it'll be ready to go when I return in a few weeks for the Lenzerheide World Cup. While I miss my bike, I don't miss the airport schlepping.
TJ commented on my return that it was awesome to greet me back home sans tears, declarations of quitting, and injures. I was in one piece--a little bruised and scraped--but generally okay with my racing and upbeat about how the trip went.
The Albstadt weekend was pretty mediocre as far as my race performance went, but the result was consistent with the weekend before and far better than anything I've achieved in previous 'attempts'. That result was 27th place. The race course was brutally steep with two distinct loops, connected by some flat pedaling on grass and pavement. With Nove Mesto on the top of everyone's 'best World Cup' list, Albstadt has a tough act to follow but I'm still drawn to its simplicity--ride up the hill, ride down. For seven laps, we rode up and down, twice per lap.
My race was mediocre because I botched the start--despite a decent starting position. And I still managed to crash my bike, for no good reason. I didn't realize how bad my start was until I took a close look at the published race analysis. My call up position was 39th (this is based on your UCI rank) and my position after the short starting loop was 61st. That's not how you set yourself up for a good World Cup race. But I rallied on the first lap and moved up substantially--even with some running (yes, a shocker for those of you that have seen me run). I kept racing hard and stayed focused through the entire race; and sometimes that's enough.
Here's the link to the Red Bull TV coverage of Albstadt ---> LINK
The week between races we spent in Albstadt, resting, WiFi coveting, training and getting to know the other #TeamUSA riders and staff over three family-style meals a day. Marc, Julia, Michel and Jan make the best support team and it's hard to imagine a European trip without them. A few highlights from the week were visiting the Hohenzollorn Castle with Cypress and Shayna, cheering on Michel and Jan in the World Cup staff race, working with Mike from Fox on fine-tuning my suspension, and finally riding with Julia. And thanks to all of you for checking in for another update.
Next up, I'm racing the final round of the US Cup in Colorado Springs, CO on June 20th.