I went into this season with the goal of getting a World Cup start, and rad news, it happened! I was selected for one of the USAC spots for the Mount Sainte Anne U23 XCO World Cup on August 7th.
Last week on Thursday I started my journey up to Mount Sainte Anne for the WC. My plan was to drive two hours, spin, drive two more hours, sleep, then finish the drive off in the morning to make sure we (by “we” I mean my friend Ian G and I) got there before reg closed for the day at 10. Everything went super smooth, the spin was very scenic, and we even went up and touched the border.
Fridays drive and reg went off without a hitch and by midmorning I was on the course. The course was EPIC. The climbs were steeper than anything I had ever seen, the descents were gnarlier than any I had seen. It was sweet. I rode for about 2 hours before calling it quits. I managed to get all the descents down, but I didn't have a chance to come into them tired or with pace.
The next day I rode for another 1.5 hours, I really wanted to come into a few of the descents redlined so I got my heart rate up there and sent them. This was good for my confidence in my riding but looking back I think I slightly overdid it with the riding these two days.
RACE DAY. It was here. I was in USA kit, stoke was high. After getting my chip and warming up, it was into the start grid. I was staged, you guessed, dead last. They called my name as I rolled up to the back of the pack and before I knew it the countdow had begun. The start was fast, and I didn’t really make up any spots. The first laps stunk in that I, along with the back 1/3 of the field was forced to run a lot of the steeper/more technical up hills. The front of the race was motoring away while this was happening but thats how it goes when you are starting near the back. I raced the next few laps, pedaling hard. I was gaining more on descents, or I guess it could be said I was simply loosing more on climbs. I went by every lap hoping I could make it to the final lap, but alas, I was pulled. I did manage to beat a few people, and I was supposed to get last, so I guess there is an upside, but on the whole I had obviously wished for a little more. The experience of racing at this level was amazing. It is eye opening to how good the top guys really are and inspiration for how much training must be done to get to there level. I hope to go back again next year and improve on my result.
Shmedium quality video edit is coming, stay tuned.