Race Report – World Cup #6 – Mont Ste-Anne, Canada – July 27, 2008

Three places better than last year, but my legs felt 10 times worse! Now is that good or bad? Well, it’s great that I placed better, and it surely indicates I’m fitter, considering I felt SO slow, yet I still pulled off a respectable result. I also rode a clean (technically, not actual cleanliness) race, which was a goal of mine, as I’ve been crashing way too much lately. The mud was a bit of an issue, making the course much slower than last weekend at Nationals, and some sections I ended up running, as it was slickety-slick! The World Cup course was a few hundred metres longer than Nationals - they added some more climbing and technical singletrack at the top of the course, and another downhill chute and switchback climb near the end. These sections were enjoyable, but considering the slower conditions, the five-lap race was well over two hours for the winner. It was a race of attrition out there, and I managed to pass quite a few women on the final lap, as they ran out of gas, and my diesel engine kept on truckin’! One advantage of my legs not being able to push hard was that I didn’t risk blowing up early. Always look on the bright side!

Focus. Photo: Marek Lazarski

My start was nothing special and I got caught in a bit of traffic once we reached the top of the climb and entered the singletrack. I also felt my legs were less-than-stellar, but I knew it would be a long race, so I didn’t sweat it - that’s what I told myself anyway - and that’s what I told Mical when I passed her at the start of the second lap on the climb, where she was NOT looking happy. Mical, I felt your pain!

The rest of the race was a mental battle for me - I tried to stay positive and push my legs as hard as I could, but they were pretty unresponsive - like two heavy slabs of cured Iberian ham. Even though it was tough, it was hard not to have fun on Mont Ste-Anne’s twisty, rooty trails. I’m looking forward to some good, hard rest, so I’ll be ready to rock Bromont next weekend!

Thanks to Neaner for the amazing support all week, and all those encouraging fans out there! Congrats to Marie and Kika, who placed 1-2 - yeah Canadian girls! 

1. Marie-Hélène Prémont (Can) Rocky Mountain 2:06:30
2. Catharine Pendrel (Can) Luna Women’s MTB Team 2:53
3. Lene Byberg (Nor) Specialized Factory Racing 4:28
4. Georgia Gould (USA) Luna Women’s MTB Team 5:06
5. Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor) Multivan Merida Biking Team 5:24

23. Sandra Walter (Can) X-O Felt 23:33