The BMC Racing cup was the first of two warm up race that the U19 Australian MTB team was to compete in prior to the world Championships held in Austria in early September.
We arrived in Switzerland on the Monday after 30 hours of traveling in preparation for the BMC Cup so that we could spend time on the course getting practice and familiarising ourselves with the lines and technical sections. Unfortunately from Wednesday through to the Saturday before the race it rained constantly and the course turned into a mud bath but after talking to a few local track builders on the Saturday prior to the race they believed that the course would dry out with the small amount of sun that had come out in the afternoon.
The morning of the race came around fast and soon enough I was doing a warm up lap of the course as the locals predicted the track dried enough that it became a super grippe highway. After the warm-up it was a short weight as the race start had been moved back 30min due to some technical issues so this effected the warm-up preparation so I had a short break and then when and rolled the legs to keep them feeling fresh. The next thing I knew we were on the start line and I was thinking about the start and clipping in practice that I had been doing with one of my team mates.
I heard the gun go and I was off. Perfect clip in went from the third row into the second row around some one that slipped there foot at the start and then about 200meters in I felt the rear end of my bike lift up and then all I remember is going over a metal fence and sliding along on my face at full speed .I think someone’s foot slipped into my rear spokes flipping me up onto the front wheel and aiming towards the fence. I jumped up full of adrenalin and tried to change gears but the shifter was bent from the impact of my knee hitting it.
I made it to the tech zone that was only about 400meters later when the mechanic had to get the pliers onto the lever and bend it back into shape. This took a lot of time and I was about 2:30min down on the last rider to leave the arena. We had to complete two laps of the field before leaving and I was so far behind that the next race was already on the start line and I had to squeeze past them to complete the course without being disqualified for cutting the course.
I was told to ride consistent laps as we knew from last year that rider would not be able to handle the fast pace and then would go backwards very fast at the end of the race. I rode the first two laps of the six lap race by myself not seeing anyone and then finally on the start of my third lap I saw the tail end riders of the race and I just rode straight past them as if they were standing still. I didn’t care about the pain or my heart rate as I was more annoyed at myself for going into the fence at the start so I was riding very aggressively but it was working and I was riding back into the race from 75th place. The next two laps I rode past nearly half of the field and caught up to a bunch of riders on the last lap that were trying to play games of ‘who wants to ride on the front on the road section’ so I used my road skills and just attacked them and left them for dead and hunted down the next riders ahead.
I finished in 29th place riding back into the race and over taking more than half of the field. The best part was that a lot of the coaches and team mangers from other teams were impressed with how I conducted myself when the mechanical issue occurred and how I was calm about the situation and then still managed to ride a solid race mostly by myself. I was happy with this race and wanted to do well at it but I guess it racing and you will never have the perfect race even I you win.