I know it has been a while since my last post but things have been manic for the past while. SO here is a recap of my last leg in Europe for 2016!
First on the agenda was Mont Saint Anne world cup in Canada which was a race that I had gone to in 2015 but was unable to race due my bike not arriving. Due to that it felt like I had raced there before when in fact I had never ridden the track before. It is the most iconic track on the circuit and has been around forever. It is by far the fastest track of the year and unbelievably rough! I managed to sneak into the top 80 for finals and brought her down in 73rd. I had been struggling with arm pump on the rough track so I was happy all things considered.
Next up I flew back to Germany for a German Cup round in Ilmenau. It is a special one for me as its where I achieved my first podium in EU back in 2011. I had been close to winning on many occasions but had never got the W so I was hoping that 2016 was the year! I had an amazing time in practice on the tricky track and seeded 3rd. In my race run I actually made a few crucial mistakes but somehow still took the lead. I thought it would not be good enough, however this time things worked in my favour and I managed to win my first ever international event! It was literally a dream come true and a huge goal achieved! I also moved into 41st in the world ranking after this which was my highest ever.
Next up was the Andorra world cup which was the final world cup of the season and the track there is unreal, it’s so fast, steep and rough. Its a really fun track and I felt really good in practice. the track was super long and easy to make mistakes on so I focused on keeping it smooth and limiting the mistakes. I ended up 85th in qualifying, missing out by 0,7s which was very frustrating as I felt so good. I had decided to run full spike tyres and I think it was a mistake in the end as I just did not have the rolling speed I needed. You live and learn each day.
Next up was World Champs in Val Di Sole! I was extremely excited for this as I had done well there at the 2015 world cup. However the track in 2016 was very different and a huge challenge just to ride it. We had 4 days of practice which was much longer than at a world cup and also made the track much rougher than normal. The conditions were unbelievably loose which made things very unpredictable. I managed to survive the week and got 57th in the finals. This was far from my goal but at the same time I was happy to leave there healthy and with a solid run. Sometimes you need to know when to risk it or stay alive for the next one. The track there this year was the most hectic track I have ever ridden.
Last on the agenda was Leogang European cup finals. I enjoy the track there and I was excited end the season on a good note. As per usual the heavens opened and it poured with rain making the track very challenging to ride. It became a bit of a lottery and to do well you had to go for broke! I managed to seed 20th which safely put me into the top 30 super final. Sunday rolled around and the track was just like peanut butter and even more difficult than on Saturday! I felt really good in finals and was on a great run when I got front flat tyre….
It was not the best way to end the season but mechanical issues are part and parcel. It could have definitely been worse and I am happy to go home healthy. The season overall was amazing and my best to date, I can’t wait to get stuck in for preparation for the 2017 season!
Thanks so much to all my great sponsors, my team, my trainer ( John Wakefield ), my family and all my friends for their undying support!
Until next time…