Finally I have some time to catch up on my blog writing - all this college stuff interfering with my cycling! ;) I've got a little breather now - just hope I passed my exam!
After having missed the first Bundesliga race in Muensingen, Germany, due to the volcanic ash, I was really looking forward to racing again in Dalby Forest, for Round 1 of the World Cup Series. Not racing in Germany meant I spent the weekend on two long mountain bike spins on some of the driest trails in Ireland - I felt so invincible, everything is so rideable!
Going to Dalby didn't really feel like going to a World Cup, since I've raced on the same course last year in a UK NPS by the same organizers, so it felt more like going to a local race. In fact, this was probably the least nervous I've been in all the World Cups (3!) I've done! The course was just as technical as last year, with only minor modifications.
On race day I was gridded in the latter half of the grid. When the gun went off I tried to hold my position going into the singletrack in the short and fast start-loop. The singletrack forced the riders to form an orderly line, and I lost a few positions (I started in 56th position, and went through the start area in 68th), but was able to catch riders again on the wide start loop area. There was a lot of traffic on the first lap and lots of nice flowy singletrack meant that there was little possibility to overtake, so that for the first lap the only option was to just hold on to that wheel ahead of you and not let people from behind you come by.
After the traffic had dispersed by the 2nd lap, I really started to enjoy the course and settled into my pace. Lap after lap I made up a few places on the climbs and on the flats, slowly climbing up the rankings and and finally finishing in 56th position (the position I started in....). Not really a fantastic result, but I'm slowly climbing up the ladder - better than in Offenburg last year with a similar amount of riders.
I had a lot of fun though and I am thinking of signing up to Offenburg now!