|River Gap jump. Biggest/only gap jump I've ridden ever.|
When I woke up in the morning on Sunday I told myself that I could do it, that if I thought I could, then I could, and that I would hit the river gap and the other A-line I had never practiced. Turns out mind over matter really is a thing.
I started the race in the way back, as to be expected when you're #50 out of 60 starters. Still pretty starstruck about the fact that I was lining up behind Yolanda Neff, Maja Wolskskskzskjalska, Irena Kalentieva... you know, the fastest women IN THE WORLD!
The start was fast, but thankfully the start loop involved more fire road and pavement than a normal loop which allowed me to move up a bit. I guess that was everyone else's plan though so I wasn't able to move up as much as I had hoped though. We all ran on the first time up L'Enfer de Sainte Anne (the climb to Beatrice), and then down Beatrice (the most technical rock garden of my life) on the start lap, it was a bit of a shit show. The remaining 5 laps were a hot mess of riding hard on the short climbs, other girls getting in my way on the techy climbing features (usually off their bikes running), me making mistakes on the techy rock descendy stuff/having said girls who I just passed pass me back, and having a freaking BLAST riding the most technical terrain I have ever raced!
The highlight of the race was hitting all three A-lines including the two I was too afraid to hit in practice. I was especially pumped to clean the river gap 4 times, the first of which I was so surprised I made it that I lost time kinda freaking out that I had just jumped something so big :) The second and third times I hit it I landed hard on my rear wheel and cracked my rim, but fortunately the Kappius rims are so well built that I didn't even flat, and was able to finish the race despite the cracks. The whole race I kept experiencing that feeling that got me into mountain biking in the first place. The feeling you get when you ride something so scary and over your head hard, make it to the bottom alive, and instantly want to ride it again! I live for that feeling :)
|At the end of the race my cheeks ached from smiling so much. I had so much freaking fun!|