|The dude from Columbia was very strong, and apparently a good starter|
Thanks Hannah Clarke for always getting photos of our race
|I can always count on teammates for help and support!|
Next was a crazy lineup of features, the first of which was a big rock drop (not unlike the one that I had broken my ribs on the prior year), followed by a massive hop over two stacked logs, then a downhill rock garden feature called boneshaker. I was working up the courage to hit the big rock line when team USA showed up. Normally I'd let them through so that I could continue to grow my bravery until such a time that I wasn't scared and would launch myself off of it, but my friend told team USA to wait, and then I really had to step up. I guess I work well under pressure, because I sent it right over the rock, hopped the logs, and that was it. I do admit though, that I was practicing my hops this week in preparation.
Once I got over that hurdle, everything felt easy, I had my flow and mojo, I helped friends and other riders to learn other sections of the course, and my bike was in perfect tune. I really just needed to get my mind around a few things and then I was fine. The weather was supposed to be nice, and I would have the race that I've been working towards, right?
|This is us when we though that we'd have a sunny race|
The race day was one of those days where it might rain, but it wasn't forecasted to, and everything goes the opposite of plan. I felt like the entire race was underneath a waterfall, which made the trails pretty greasy - kind of like someone had spread a few inches of peanut butter across the entire course. I was grateful to be using my friend's really nice carbon wheels, and also knew that I couldn't afford to fix them if I broke them, so I pumped my tires about 25% higher than I would normally ride with - just to be safe.
|This is how we were feeling in the rain|
Peter Kraiker photo
By midway through the second lap I was still pushing and making passes, hadn't fallen, and was shooting through all of the technical lines. My tires weren't doing me much of a favor in terms of grip (especially the rear), but I was riding with guys that I hadn't before, moving way up the field compared to the other two Canada Cup races that I'd done this year. I was feeling confident too, because in any section that I could actually pedal hard and use my fitness, I was gaining ground.
|Thanks Eric Batty for cheering me on and taking such great photos, it means a lot to have someone that's been so influential in my cycling cheering me on.|
|Another great shot from Eric http://www.ericbatty.com/|
I would also like to thank my mom for coming out to the race this weekend! Love you mom!