World Cross Country Championships

A very big disappointment for me in the Cross Country World Champs. Especially after a very pleasing 14th in the Marathon Champs.

I was fully amped to have a great race. I was feeling good and despite the technical course, I was mentally prepared to be aggressive (particularly so in the start) and go hard.

The course was just over 6km long and had no long climbs, just short steep kickers that would be tiring after the first couple of laps. We were up for 6 laps though the first lap was shortened by the first technical section to give us a chance to spread out. This didn´t work particularly well as we soon bottlenecked in the first singletrack. I had a bad start getting caught behind a crash on the first ascent up the tarmac!

After the first lap I was way down the field in 60th position but as I got more arm room I powered my way up to 40th position within one lap. I was feeling good and knew that I could keep gaining places and move up to the top 20. The crowds were amazing. There was full on noise of cow bells and cheering around the entire course. The Swiss really get behind supporting the kiwi´s and more than once I heard the friendly shout of "Alinghi". It was quite an amazing atmosphere.

At the end of the 3rd lap I had a huge crash. I took the top of the descent over the rock, rather than the wider slower option and since the course had been cut up my landing into the powder pitched me over the bars, flying superman style into the dirt. What a shock! I winded myself and managed to bend both my thumbs back. The worse thing though was the breaking of the seat!!! The front nose had broken away from the railings but I thought I´d be able to continue. This wasn´t to be so as the back railings bent and the entire saddle broke away. That was my race over. I continued to walk the descents and ride where I could with no saddle, keen to get some UCI points. I ended up in a very, very disappointing 62nd position with 2 laps down.

I can only put this experience behind me and move on to the final World Cup in Kaprun this weekend.

World Marathon Champs

Hi everyone.

The MTB Marathon World Champs was run yesterday, 78 gruelling km's with almost 3000m of vertical elevation, some 'stronger than Wellington' winds, and almost 1000 starters.
Among those were six Kiwis, including Robyn, Susie Pryde, Sadie Parker-Wynyard, Tim Vincent, Mark Leishman.

We made sure we were prepared the night before, Robyn's bike was prepped, numbers on jerseys, 8 bottles of replacement drink for feeds, a handful of energy bars, spare tyres, tubes, pumps etc...all ready.

The NZ team were lucky to be called up near the front of the grid, Robyn was just behind Susie and Sadie.

We left the riders at the start and made our way to the first feed zone, 22kminto the race.

Robyn came thru in 7th and was looking very strong, relaxed and focussed, Susie Pryde came thru 5min later around 25th, and Sadie another 5min later around 40th at which point she dismounted and pulled out of the race.

We got a jacket and food for Sadie, and she was happy to bike back to her hotel, we jumped into the car, and raced to get to the next feed zone.

We got within 6km of the next feed zone and were stopped by army personnel, told the road was closed, we could have no access!!! The we were fuming but the guy wouldnt budge!

There was nothing we could do to feed our riders, or get a message to them to tell them to conserve food, and take neutral support..all we could do was go to the last feed zone 40km away, wait for our riders, and just hope they were still going.

We got to the zone, Robyn came thru almost 20min up on her schedule, but we learnt she had blown her forks out and was riding almost with no suspension .She was sitting in 14th and 15th was right on her tail.

We raced to the finish, which was one lap of the main Lugano Stadium, then over the line.

Robyn entered neck and neck with a Swiss national rider, held off till the last bend, and with 100m to go unleashed a great sprint to secure 14th.

Susie came in 20min later in 25th.

14th in the World! All very happy with the result.

Our plans now are to move to the XC course and prepare for the next race, The XC race on Sunday. Heres hoping for another good result for Robyn and New Zealand.

All the best from Lugano

New race report - Europa Cup, see below...

14th at the World Marathon Champs!

Absolutely stoked! 14th in the World.
It was a full on race of just over 5 hours, 78km and over 2,800m of climbing!
I finished 29 minutes down from the winner Maja Wlostzcowska from Poland, however places 7th through to 15th were battled throughout the race all finishing within 6 minutes of each other. At the first feedzone after 20km I was sitting in 7th place and feeling strong. I was having a great race until I started having a few issues with my forks. I had to take the rocky descents a lot easier since I'd lost air in my forks.
Nevertheless I'm still stoked with 14th!
Now it's time for loads of recovery before battling it out on the cross country course on Sunday.

Swiss bike Cup, La Chaux de Fonds

Sundy August 17, 2003

Since it was a week since the huge 90km marathon at Grindelwald this race was a test of my recovery.

The Swiss Cups attract tough competition since the prize money is quite substantial. Barbara Blatter, Sabine Spitz and Petra Henzi are just a few names who lined up on Sunday morning. It was a leisurely start at 11:30am, soon after the Under 23 guys. The course was just under 10km and we were racing 3 laps. I didn't feel so flash during my warmup and my usual sprints. My legs felt very heavy.

Surprisingly though I had a great start and stayed with the leaders on the sprint up the asphalt. I was 6th wheel going into the short descent before kicking into a steeper climb. By the very top the legs were screaming but I was still there near the front. As we went off road into the trees riders in front slipped on the rocks (since a spectacular storm came in on Saturday evening) forcing everyone off their bikes. There was a lot of yelling going on. Back on track we hit the first technical descent and with off camber trees roots I very suddenly went down kocking my knee fairly hard. By the time I was back up and going I had lost many places sitting in 14th by the end of the 1st lap. I was having a very solid race climbing well and powering along the flats pacing off Sue Thomas from the Great Brittain National Team. Though by the 2nd lap I began to feel far too cautious on the slippery downhill after my earlier crash losing all the valuable time I had gained on the climbs.

I finished 15th. Yet again there were quite a few non finishers, probably due to the heat.