Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Racing in Israel - Part 2: Haifa Race

The next day we headed off to the course in Haifa. Since the race acted as a test-run for the European Champs in June, a few more people had signed up in my category, notable the Polish national team, including Maja Wloszczowska (2008 Olympic Silver medalist, 2009 European Champ) and Aleksandra Dawidowicz (U23 World & European Champion). We set off and from the start it felt as if I went into a blind race. I didn't have a very good start and went into single-track in about 8th position. I made up a few places to 6th place before I hit the first technical rock drop. I went into it full speed, but I misjudged my line and caught my handlebar in the rock on the side and almost took a tumble. Luckily I was able to quickly unclip my foot and hold the fall with my foot, but unluckily my foot hit the ground hard and in a bad position, so that I twisted my ankle and hurt a tendon. I thought this was the end of my race, but after the initial pain subsided I was able to get going again. I had lost a place to Ivonne in the process and Inbar Ronen overtook me shortly after, so that I was back in 8th position. As long as the course was non-technical it was OK to go on, but any slight movement of my ankle put me back into agony. I was so scared of having to dab in the technical sections that I preemptively walked most of them, of course loosing even more time. Finally I finished the race in 7th position, since Asa suffered a flat tire.

In hindsight we should have spent more time pre-riding this far more technical course, one slow lap just wasn't enough, and I'm sure I could have avoided that stupid slip in the first lap, but hindsight is always 20/20 vision. At least I was able to finish the race, even though I am still hobbling 3 days later...

And so ended our Israeli adventure, only to be followed by our adventurous 21 hour trip home that involved 4 separate flights over 5 airports and lost bike bags in Heathrow (again....).

A big thanks to the Syrkin family for arranging and providing lodging, and again Klaus Sonntag for feedzone support. Ryan and I had a very enjoyable time in Israel and everybody we met has been extremely friendly and helpful - we will definitely be back again next year!

Race results available on


fenty said...

Yay injury buddy! Did exactly the same thing at the Gran Canaria Marathon last Saturday. Congrats on finishing despite the pain and being close to such classy riders. Alas that is where the similarity ends! Good luck for Sherwood are you racing BMBS round 2? I might see you there.

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