Another World Cup on deck. How cool is it to type that? Really, I’m just feeling super stoked to be here right now and able to race my bike. Guess you can tell I’m feeling pretty good!
Had a great drive down with Jos. Many thanks to Jos for coming along with this trip and doing all the “dirty” work for me. Jos is doing it all – the bulk of the driving, the pit work, team manager work, you name – she is it. I’d have to say the Canadian delegation (i.e. Me) couldn’t have asked for anyone more qualified.
Thanks to the wonders of the GPS and the Internet we found the race site pretty easily. Got set up right next to Nikki Harris and her boyfriend Matt. Again super nice to see some friendly faces and to get connected with them again. Also got to say hello to Christine and Jonas. Really is quite refreshing to see so many people that I know.
So the course. Well, it is very very grassy. That kind of bumpy long grass that sucks your legs and tires into the ground. Almost feels like there is quicksand under the grass. But that being said, I think it is still a “fast” course. We rode it when it was a bit soggy and wasn’t raining. I can get around it really really well. In fact I think it suits me. Some sections where I can really open it up. Some steep climbs – one that I can get up and one that everyone including the men are having to dismount and run. Some fun fast descents. These are quite good because they are quick and are very wide open. There is a very tricky off-camber section. I was able to ride it once but otherwise slide out. It seems you need to get the exact right angle with the exact right speed and rear wheel pressure to get over it. The feeling is that with the rain we are getting now and two races before us that it will become a run (as it did last year).
Really the super lung burning, leg killing stuff is altogether – up one climb, descend, up another climb, descend, and onto the off-camber. The stairs at the start are another matter. They don’t seem so bad at first but then they get super steep! Good thing I’ve been working on my running. Then it is really riding on this bumpy sloggy grass.
Going to get to the course for 10 tomorrow. Then as soon as the juniors have finished at 10:40, I’m going to hop on. Need to test out the tires again and see what has changed with the rain. I test the Dugast Rhinos today with around 30 psi – they seemed pretty good. Then I tested some Michelin Muds with 30 psi as well – they seemed pretty good. But what I am going to do is see what tires the U23 men are running – this will be the real key to determining the tire selection. I also have some Dugast Typhoons here and some Challenge Grifo clinchers. So I’ve got lots of options.
Picked up the numbers and all the passes with minimal hassle. At first they were going to make us wait until after the manager’s meeting to get the parking pass… But I told them that I was here alone and didn’t have a manager so could I “please have my pass now?” – the answer: yes. Perfect. So we’ve got all we need.
Found the hotel with minimal headache. Staying at the All Seasons Hotel in Belfort. Have to say it is pretty darn good. Big room – plenty of room for my bikes, wheels and all the other stuff. Massive bed and television. Perfect for some relaxing tonight.
Speaking of relaxing, I’m just going to dash off and have supper now. It was Jos’s birthday yesterday so we are off to celebrate. Have a good one. Thanks for reading.
I’m feeling good for the race tomorrow. Sending speedy vibes down to Northampton to all my pals racing this weekend.
I think it is appropriate to once again, close with the words of coach Steve:
“Go Like Hell”