It was a tough day out for the kiwi guys yesterday, I'm really disappointed with my ride and are trying to figure out what went so wrong so can pull it all together for next weekend
The kiwi chicks on the other hand were amazing, Samara Sheppard winning her first World Cup in the U23's, riding everything totally smooth and powerfully after the thunderstorm at the start of their race, and amber Johnston pulling her way though to 3rd in the Junior Girls after having one of the biggest crashes right in front of us on the rockgarden, catching most of the fall with her face.
The course all week had been dry and loose, with holes getting bigger and bigger and the rock getting smoother. I was stoked the night before to hear and see the Thunderstorm come through as it turned the course into the same state that Signal Hill in Dunedin is in at the moment, and I love the how Signal hill is at the moment.
I was amped up and managed to get up to the 3rd row on the start grid far to one side. The gun went and we hurled straight before turning sharp right up a grass ski slope for about 40 seconds. I got a good boost up there and went round the outside of people to be in the top ten. But from there it just started to go wrong. I was giving it everything standing up and trying to push the gears I know I can push but nothing was coming through. By the time we got to the first singletrack I was in about 25th so was still able to ride the rockgarden and everything else. Too bad the same couldn't be said for the uphill.
My technical riding was there riding past people on the technical flat, and niggly uphill bits as the roots got more and more muddy, but it was the climbs that were just letting me down. I re found my plot in the 3rd lap and kept fighting hard even though I was not on full cylinders and was no way in hell going to DNF no matter how bad it was going.
Ended up battling through to 37th in the U23 in the end 3 places behind Brad Hudson. Really disappointing as I had so much focus on this race, not hugely from a results point of view, but are most gutted because I know that was not my best performance I'm capable of. I guess you have tough days and it's how you pick yourself up from them so I'm still smiling, stoked to be here and well change a few things to make sure Windham next Saturday gets a hiding.
Now just letting Nigel get ready for his race with him, anton and Tom Filmer on the front row should make for a good race. Get up kiwi's.
Will have pictures and video to come when internet isn't so patchy.