After a tough race at the Mont St-anne World Cup in Canada it was time to drive 700 k’s over the border to Windham NY state. Windhan was another ski town but had recently been devastated by massive floods last winter we were told. It was bit of a hick town but everyone was nice enough and was a mint week leading up to the race with around 30 degree days every day.
We were staying with the rest of the NZ team over here this time, so was good times had on and off the bike. The track itself was the complete opposite to Mont St-anne. It was a twelve minute climb up to the top of the chairlift on a grass slope then back down again. There was nothing technical what so ever and with the start being a kilometre down the road in the centre of town, leading straight into the main climb it was going to be all about climbing well and handling the heat. Usually I wouldn’t rate myself on something with so much climbing and no technical, but Silas has had me out on the road big time lately so was feeling good as soon as I got into my rhythm. With only one race under my belt due to sickness since Oce’s I’d learnt my lesson from last week and was planning on building into the 5 lap race in the heat.
Luckily we were starting at 9am on the Saturday we were first race up and was called up 30th on the grid. I got a good start pulling through gaps up the road well but was hurt from a lack of intensity in my training when the push came for the singletrack. I knew I had a huge base to take me through the race so just settled into my rhythm. I was passing people every lap and caught and past Matt on the third lap to be in first kiwi in the field.
The fast loose descent was getting more and more blown out but was loving it and was making the most of racing the best in the world. By the end of the 5th lap I had made my way to 32nd and was first kiwi in U23’s. I was happy with the race even if the result wasn’t quite what I was aiming for when I started the build up for this trip. I was stoked to feel good in a race and now I know with a proper build up I can really give it a good shot with three more years after this in the Under 23 grade. I realise what it is going to take and are going to have to make some big decisions soon.
The other kiwi’s in the XC were awesome anton smashing again, Nige in 9th and Filmo in eleventh in the Junior men. Amber Johnston had another awesome race to get 3rd in the junor girls with Sam Hope in 7th. Samara had a rough day in 6th (?) while Jolando Neff smashed the rest of the U23 chicks to win again.
I am trying to get the coin together to represent NZ at the world champs in September, I have been successful in some attempts and it is looking good, I may be running some fundraising events in your neck of the woods soon so keep an eye out. Until then