This year I was lucky enough to be selected as part of the UCI’s World Cycling Camp for Mountain Biking, which was to be held in Aigle, Switzerland.
After a hectic two days of planes trains and carting bikes and bags to the other side of the world Em and I finally made it to Aigle at about 10.30pm local time. The next two weeks we would spend here refining our skills, not only as riders but as people. The camp was such an amazing experience as we had the opportunity to train with people all over the world from places such as Azerbaijan, Namibia, Italy, Argentina and Ireland.
On the first weekend of the camp Em and I travelled to Meribel with Jodie Willet and Greg Meyland to race the last round of the World Cup. As we where attending the camp still we where unable to get to the World cup in time to practice the course as much as you would normally at a World Cup race, although we where able to get two laps in the day before. I raced reasonably well the next day considering the conditions in which we raced, I managed to finish 29th which I was happy with. It was a busy course with not much time to rest, which was challenging!
Straight after our race we headed back to Aigle for the last week of the camp. The last week of camp was very rewarding, really improving our skills and reinforcing what we learnt the week before. We finished off the WCC by racing the Garmin Cup in Switzerland which consisted of a point to point race that had 1600m of climbing in a 33km loop. The track was tough and not my usual style of riding but I managed to finish 2nd overall in the elite women, which was a great result for me.
After finishing the camp it was time to head to Norway for World Championships.
Representing your country at the World Championships is always a day of mixed emotions. I felt like I had quite a good start to the day good breakfast, well prepared and bike running smoothly. I had been recovering from a nasty flu that I picked up in Switzerland but race day was my first day that I felt healthy.
Emily (My Australian team mate) and I both started pretty much on the back of the grid. I was called up with number 36 as my race number. The start was hard and fast, maybe a little bit to hard with a bunch of girls crashing down in front of me. I managed to come out of the crash just fine although I had lost a good lot of ground on the main group and my bike had taken some nasty knocks around the derailleur. I worked hard to try and gain some ground on the main group but kept getting caught in small crashes and making silly mistakes under pressure. I felt like I was red lining for a good amount of the first lap, which obviously isn’t ideal. By the time I begun my second lap it was getting hard to get air in the lungs so I backed off a bit although my legs where still suffering. I needed to make up positions and time or I was going to get lapped out.
After slogging it out for as long as I could I was pulled from the race and finished in 41st place, which was very disappointing. I felt like I had a better race in me but just couldn’t pull myself together in time. Although I was very upset with my performance I am extremely motivated for next year. I have definitely learned from my experience. I think that this World Championships and my last World Cup in Meribel really opened my eye’s to the fact that this is what I love to do! I am more excited and motivated then ever for next year.
I would like to thank everyone for all the support you have all given me. Without this support there is no way that I would be able to race at this level and gain these valuable experiences. I would especially like to thank TREK racing Australia and Telstra Store Armidale.