Steve James Reports from UCI MTB World Cup 2014: Albstadt, Germany
So this week I made the trip out to Germany for a round of the UCI MTB World Cup in Albstadt. It’s an unforgiving course to say the least with 580~ft of climbing in a 12 minute, 4.1km lap. All plenty steep enough! The downhill sections are equally as steep but not too technical, just slippery when wet as we discovered! This is not a course I would normally put myself down to do well on, the steepness of the climbs does not really favour my style. However I knew after the disappointment of Nove Mesto the week before (mechanicals and puncture) I had to put my course opinions behind me and do my best!
Finally I got a good start at a world cup, rolling through on the first lap in 22nd place having been gridded 37th. I felt strong on the climbs and started to pass some of the quick starters, equally some of the slow starters climbed past me and it was a game of win some lose some for much of the race. I sat just inside the top 20 for 6 of the 7 laps, which I am really pleased with and is positive for the rest of the season! Last lap time, my legs had nothing more to give and I lost about 20 seconds on my previous laps, not a lot but in a world cup every second counts! I ended up finishing in 21st, a result I am super happy with but so close to that top 20!
Next race for me is the European Under23 MTB champs this coming weekend, back in Germany! I hope to have another solid performance to add to this world cup.