MTB XC World Cup Round 1, Albstadt- Germany
Beth Crumpton Reports:
This weekend was my first U23 World Cup in Albstadt, Germany, the first weekend when the big racing begins and nerves are running very high.
I was really excited but ofcourse nervous going into this race; 1- I had no idea where In the pack of girls I thought I could be finishing in or racing around, 2- The course was a beast and 3- I couldn’t wait to smash some mega racing.
World Cups have been great experience for me as a junior which I had the opportunity to do so and my opportunities have increased being part of the programme.
Going in to the race I was feeling good, my legs were feeling fresh and physically all well. The course was a steep one, mega steep climbs up and very technical steep, rocky and slippy descents. With a few tumbles in course practice and a swollen egg on my chin and my chimp put back in its cage, I was ready to race my first U23 world cup of the year.
I was gridded in 27th position which was on the 4th row of the grid and was going to be a battle for positions into the first lap. That it was and I was off and running up the first climb, jump back on for a bit and then back off running down the first very technical muddy descent which wasn’t perfect and was in about the 30’s and having to make up some places, by running at girls standing in line waiting to walk down a hill, it’s a bike race, I wasn’t going to wait around… elbows out all out!
For the rest of the race I was picking up places as I went through, making efforts up the climbs to make sure I could get in to the descent first and catch places up downhill as well as up, which was more fun as the descents were awesome, slippy and fun made for something to look forward to at the top of a gruelling climb.
Going in to the last lap I was on my own, I wasn’t even sure where I actually was in the race, I thought I was in about 16th which I was happy with, but coming in to the finishing straight, I finished 12th! I was so happy and dead chuffed with this result and now have a marker to where I am in the U23 field and where to improve, definitely to have a better start for sure!
My fate rode mega on the descents and rolled over the rocks b-e-autifully and made them very enjoyable. Now I know where I am on form and in the field I hope to improve and gain more experience next week at round 2 of the World Cup Series in Nove Mesto in the Czech Republic. Wish me luck! J