Hello from my apartment in Europe! Last Sunday was my last Australian race for the year, the final round of the Focus Crossfire Cup. I love our local races because Port Adelaide Cycling Club events are run like clockwork and the course designers always get the best out of each parkland location. For the first time this year we had permanent allocated numbers for the whole series based on the previous year’s rankings which meant I got to race with the highest number in the Women’s A series, ‘101’. After winning the series I’ll get to keep the number for next year, unless PACC decide to mix it up and give the Women A riders the ‘1’- series and the Men A riders the ‘101’-series next time. #smashingthatglassceiling
I finished the National Series in second overall behind the very deserving winner, Kim Hurst from NZ (Follow her on facebook and instagram). I am happy with this result as it shows my consistency this season and Kim was a completely deserving winner as she beat me every time we raced. While I was happy with my results I had too many second places this year so next year I want to be on that top step.
In hindsight I wish I carried better form into the last two National Series rounds. I had decided to have a rest after National Champs to feel refreshed for Europe but I missed the opportunity to contest more closely our first ever Australian UCI C2 races. The success of these events show the momentum building in our Aussie CX scene and I’m sure even more international riders will consider making the trip next year.
One minor issue we have to sort out is to get the points from these early season races counted straight away. Currently the UCI wait until after the first world cup at the end of September to update the points and after that it is a weekly rolling update. This discourages international riders from coming to Australia or Australian riders going over to America for the early season as any points in Australia won’t count in those early season races.
The National Champs was also a second place finish for me this year. I went into the race believing I could win and I raced to my strengths, leading in the technical sections and easing off in the straights. It was an interesting race because Peta and I had prepared so differently leading into it. Peta has a MTB background but had come off an intense American summer road/criterium season This gave her amazing fitness and top end but no cross bike specific preparation. Because of this difference in strengths there was a lot of back and forward, good close racing for the spectators. It was disappointing to not win and take the green and gold to Europe but it is still a big step up from my results in previous years. Plus, coming second at National Champs meant I got to do my first anti-doping pee test – when you’re peeing in a cup while someone watches to ensure you’re not tampering with the sample you know you’ve #madeit.
The quality of the Elite Women’s field this year has been fantastic, not just a higher level at the front of the race but also greater depth which means closer racing for everyone. For example, at the National Championships two years ago 5th place was 3’38”down and this year 5th place was 0’53” down. Obviously different styles of courses do effect the time gaps but the close racing was seen across the board all season which is really exciting!
American CX rider, Rebecca Fahringher (Follow her facebook and instagram) wrote about considering how much of the World cups she was planning to do and said “I hope to have achieved a level of National domination before next aiming for World domination, but I have learned that the quest for world domination is a great leap towards training for National domination.” I liked this quote because although I didn’t quite get the absolute top results I wanted in Australia, I proved to myself that I am ready to learn all I can racing the best in the World in Europe. Everything i learn over here I’ll take home with me for 2018 #NationalDomination.
Cheers! Blog post with my race calendar will be up tomorrow.