I got hooked on bike racing at the CU Short Track series while in high school in Boulder, Colorado. Now it’s officially a UCI discipline and part of the cross-country World Cup; without wanting to be too sensational about it, this is kind of a dream come true for me.
On Sunday, I finished in 14th place at the Val di Sole World Cup. While I’ve done better on paper during the 2016 season (6th in Ste Anne and 12th in Cairns), the races where I performed last year were less attended and the percentage of time I finished behind the leaders was greater. Simply put, this past weekend showed I’ve made some progress in closing that gap to the front of the race.
Finishing felt good. It seemed like an immediate antidote for the disappointment I felt. But I kept myself together afterwards and so far on this trip home; which hasn't even been that hard. In bike racing, you just never know how an experience will end, however much you try to anticipate the challenges and control the variables.
The "Long Team" selection is the first round of cuts that USA Cycling makes for the Olympic Team, so it isn't a guarantee of actually making it to the Olympic Games. For mountain bike, they selected eight women and seven men from which they'll further pare down to just two each for the final "Short Team."
It’s always a challenge to write a report on a race that just doesn’t go well. In the past, a large gap in my web updates usually indicated that I just wasn’t performing quite how I’d like and not in a great mental spot.
A good result at a World Cup is often subjective, elusive and hard to really see until the dust settles and you've packed and un-packed your bags a few times. And maybe flown across an ocean. I finished in 17th place at the last World Cup in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.
Even though I didn't have the crash-free race I'd hoped for, I did a lot of things really well today, and, most importantly, in the days and weeks leading up to the start of the World Cup season. I'm still feeling very confident in my training, my equipment, and my ability to perform when I'm on the start line waiting for the gun to go off.