After slugging through to the finish line of my lowest World Cup result since 2007 I found a nice piece of grass to collapse on and contemplate what the heck had just happened out there.How had I gone from racing to win, to just trying to finish?My manager, Waldek, worried came over.He picked up my bike and spun the wheels.I laughed.I had already checked that.My brakes weren’t dragging, just my body.
I pride myself on my consistency, I have finished in the top 3 of the World Cup overall since 2008 and top 5 in 75% of the World cups I have done. When I’m off I can usually still piece together a decent ride, but after 3 laps of trying to hold wheels in Windham my dig was gone and I was just trying to turn my legs over. (If the race had been all downhill though I would have been on fire!)
As with any performance it is never just one thing that leads to having a good race and never just one thing that leads to a bad one. Typically if you have the legs you have the head, and if you don’t have the legs a strong head can’t help you no matter how many tricks you try.
Windham wasn’t an A race for me, but it was still important and I felt I could put out a good ride with some training load. This course had always favoured me and I had won off of a big training week the previous year, however, training weeks are never stand alone events. You must consider the weeks leading into them as well. I didn’t respect mine enough. It’s easy to ride momentum and still perform but eventually 9 weeks of racing in a row, 4 x 3-9hr time zone changes, 100+hrs of travel and training catch up to you.
I wanted to race, to do as many events as I could and still build form for Worlds on September 5th and hopefully that long term goal is still a success, but for the short term I did not give enough respect to what the past two months had looked like. As a North American, even my “home” World cup is 4500 km away. So lesson learned, I’m not invincible:-) the depth of the World cup is damn good and sometimes just doing a bit less gives you much more.
So now into final prep and easing back into training surrounded by beautiful mountains and possibly every rider on the circuit, here in Livingo, Italy! Ciao