World Cup Racing is just about the pinnacle of our sport. It is a very special experience to do World Cup races. This was my second European World Cup but it was my first in the Elite category, racing with the big boys. It all started on Friday morning with an early wakeup to get to the venue in Albstadt to race the qualifier for the eliminator. I crushed my ride and came across the line 12th unsure if it would hold to make the top 32. After a cool down, with teammate Peter Disera, I found out I finished 18th and I would be racing with that number in the heats in the evening. This was a goal of mine coming into the race and any more success in the XCE would be a bonus. The remainder of the day was spent resting, recovering and sitting on the nerves that come with racing a World Cup Eliminator. I got 3rd in my heat and was eliminated in the 1/8th finals but it was a great experience. When the XCE comes to North America at Mont-Sainte-Anne and Windham I’ll give it another shot and hopefully break out in this quick and exciting discipline. Some highlights from the 1/8th finals and the rest of the event can be watched here on Red Bull TV.
Come Sunday I was ready to go for the XCO; I had recovered well and was stoked to line up with 150 of the best cross country athletes in the world. I was pretty far back of the start, with 128th call up it was going to be a game of passing. Off the start I got by a crash and got by about 30 guys and I was sitting in a good position. Then, unfortunately, my race as I had envisioned it came to an end quite abruptly. Around the first downhill corner on the course another rider did an unnecessary pass and rode into my back wheel and broke a couple spokes and also ripped my tire and gave me a flat. My goals quickly changed and now I just had to get to the tech zone and see how many laps I could ride before getting lapped. I ran and rode to the tech zone and got a new wheel and started my race, again. I raced until I got pulled and that was my day. It was an unfortunate event that happened, but there was nothing I could have done to avoid it and, as they say, that’s bike racing. There is certainly some fire left in me that I’ll save for the North American World Cups where I hope to perform to my potential.
Huge thanks go out to Mike Garrigan for taking care of our team this week. You went above and beyond to ensure we all had everything we needed to perform to our best we all had a super good time doing it.
I am now in Tubingen, Germany staying with a friend, Aaron Schooler, and doing a week of training in this beautiful country before a few days of vacation in Paris with my girl friend Haley. I am really enjoying the European lifestyle so far. Small grocery stores, and the walk on convoluted cobbled streets to get there. The produce is really good here too, strawberries are unreal and everything is very fresh. There is a market here on Saturday that we are going to check out.
Yesterday we did a long ride on roads, paths, and farmer fields to the Hohenzollern Castle and that was pretty cool. We got absolutely soaked in a downpour as we were twisting up the base of this mountain on trails. It ended up being a 4 hour day altogether, not including a bakery stop of course.
Check out a few photos from this adventure so far.