Racing across the pond has definitely brought me some of the best memories in my life; new friendships, breath taking views and amazing rides on my bike. But that doesn’t come for free, it takes a lot of preparation, organization, risk management, patience and problem solving skills! No matter how prepared you are prior to a racing trip abroad, you must expect the unexpected. My last trip of the season was no exception, and I am glad that I somewhat finished with a Bang!
Last race run of the season! Photo credit: Neal Cheeseman
Right from day 1, sitting on the first plane on my way to Norway, unforeseen events started to happen. The plane wouldn’t take off as they had to fix a mechanical. Eventually, all passengers were asked to get off the plane and reschedule if they had missed their connecting flights. Re-booking done, baggage control taken care of… Until they told me the airline had made a mistake and my bags left for Chicago with the repaired plane. Great. Lots of paperwork done to avoid loosing the bags again and hopefully getting them on time in Norway!
Luckily everyone is super nice on the world cup scene and I was already offered back up gear and bicycle! No need to say I was still praying for my bike to arrive before the first practices. And it did, the evening before the first practice day! What a good relief… Never built my bike with such a big smile
Onto the next coaster ride… Practices went pretty good, I enjoyed riding with more girls and felt confident everywhere on track. On qualies day I put on a good solid run overall apart from 1 major mistake and put me on 13th place. I was satisfied and looking forward to better my result coming race day. That’s when the ride ended temporarily for me… Saturday’s practice, I had a tiny crash in a hard corner of the track and injured my shoulder really well this time. I tried keeping a positive mindset and walked down the track validating my lines, hoping that I would be okay to ride on race day. Did all my homework to make it better for Sunday but deep down I felt like it wasn’t going to happen. The worse moment is coming Sunday when everyone gears up for their race runs and you feel like you should be doing the same. That was a really big downer.
Then Steve Smith came down and took the win, heck yes! I thought Canadians were too intense cheering and celebrating hockey games but really, I felt about the same towards Stevie. What a day, what a crazy weekend…
The following week was the world cup finals in Leogang, Austria. I was happy to be able to tape the shoulder up and get on my bike. I didn’t get to perform the way I wanted to and had to pass on some gap lines that the shoulder would probably not have handled, but I was stoked to shred and enjoy that sunny yet cold weekend!
Stunning morning views on our way to practice runs. Photo credit: Neal Cheeseman
The weekend went smoothly, I felt my shoulder getting a lot weaker in some places but I kept everything strong and solid and made it to the bottom. I was glad to get constant results at least, qualifying 15th and finishing 14th on race day.
Photo credit: Julian Ellmer
It was a great racing season! I am finally putting down the results I’ve wanted in a long time and evolved so much throughout the summer that my goals setting is constantly improving. Every year, I’ve reached a huge mark of progression. I can look forward with a positive mindset and approach winter training with a maximum determination! 2014 is going to be a hell of a ride!
For now, enjoying Fall season like it should be done!