Monday, 18 June 2012

If you ain't first, you're fifth

This past weekend was the Canadian MTB Nationals at St. Felicien, Quebec. Having never been to St. Fe before, I was super excited to get on the course and experience what all the hype was about! The course definitely lived up to my expectations; it was fun, fast, and unforgiving. In other words everything that a Nationals course should be. After getting lost a few times on my first lap (getting lost on a fully taped course is one of my specialties) I was ready for a legit lap with my teammate, Mike GP (#greatguy). I've honestly never had as much fun on a pre-ride!

True to my style, I began to get nervous a good 4 days before the race. On the start line, those nerves proved useful and I had a wicked start! Unfortunately, the good start was a short-lived phenomenon, and I rapidly fell back within the field throughout the first lap. I could have used a pair of training wheels during that first lap! I knew I had to turn it around, and I managed to do that (at least partially) during the 2nd and 3rd laps. I made back a few spots, and was riding the technical way more cleanly. I'm sure everyone felt the same way, and by the time the fourth lap rolled around I was cooked. I managed to hang onto the position I was in, but all I could do was survive. It wasn't what I was hoping for, but I raced my heart out and didn't give up!

It's a tough pill to swallow when the success you've been hoping and working for proves elusive. Like most of the U23 female riders in Canada, I was hoping for a podium performance at Nationals. Unfortunately, this didn't happen. I ended up 5th place behind four very deserving young ladies. While I'm not 100% stoked on my ride this weekend, I AM stoked to prove myself these coming weekends at the North American World Cups. I think you can take a defeat one of two ways: you can become discouraged, or you can use the loss as motivation to become a winner in the future. 5th wasn't my goal, but I know that it was a good stepping stone towards placing 1st in future years. I've honestly never been more excited to improve!

My Norco teammates had some sweet races this weekend, with both the Andrews (L'Espy and Watson) placing 9th after tough races in the heat. Brett (aka Princess) had an excellent race for his first year U23. So proud of my boys ;)! The team relay was GTs, as expected. The week in St. Fe was pretty sick; how can it not be when you're living the trailer park life? It's bitter-sweet that Nationals is already over as we move on to the next races, but every weekend offers a new opportunity to crush it and race in different places! I'm loving the cyclist life right now.

Once again, big thanks to Norco, Havy, my coach, and (of course) my parents for getting me everywhere this year! 5 days till the next race - can't wait!!

 So fast I'm blurry (naaat)

 Princess :)

Post-crash Watty 

Lespy crushing the start

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