Saturday, September 13, 2008

I finished 4th in the Argentinian World cup!

I have just finished my first world cup of the season and I was battling through the whole time!

The course was really tough, it was long with a tricky first section and loads of massive jumps, some of which you had to jump off the lip of as hard as you could just to make it to the landing. The helicopter was pretty busy ferrying injured riders to hospital during training.

I had a hard time in qualifying yesterday, after I took a big fall in practice and hurt my back, neck and head I had to sit down for 20 minutes before I felt good enough to ride again. I kept going with practice anyway and had time to get one full run in before qualifications began.

I had a very good top section on my first run but I misjudged my timing on a roller in the mid section which cost me a lot of time as this prevented me from making it to the landings of the next 4 jumps. Despite that my time put me into 10th place before the second qualification run.

My second run went a lot better with me riding everything well until the final jump where I fell on the landing, after falling I started rolling towards the finish line so instead of trying to right myself onto my feet again which would have taken a lot of my momentum away I just kept on rolling and crossed the line horizontally. Surprisingly the time from this run beat my first one and I moved up into 7th place. That’s one of my best qualifying places in a while.

Today was finals day and when I woke up I didn’t feel too good at all! 7 different places on my body hurt. Namely my foot, knee, thigh, back, shoulder, neck and head. Due to funding cuts I no longer have a physio at competitions this season which sure didn’t help. When I got to the hill a couple of people mentioned to me that they had seen my crash in practice yesterday and was surprised I was still riding but wished me the best of luck for the day.

In my first heat I had a good start but was in 3rd going into the first turn. I managed to pass one girl 2 turns later and the other shortly after that to take to lead and won the race.

My next heat was even better. My main competition was Mellie Francon who was ranked 3rd in the world last season. I had another good start but Mellie got in front of me into the first turn, I followed her for a few features gathering speed before passing her on the straight section. I was then in the lead again and won that race too.

I was now in the final against numbers one, two and three in the world. My start out of the gate was ok but I fell on one of the tricky features near the start unfortunately, I tried to catch up but there was no chance.

Anyway I am pretty happy because I finished in 4th which means I am now ranked 4th in the world!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

South American Cup, Argentina - 6th Sept

I am in Argentina now. We got here about 4 days ago, it took us 61 hours to get here from Switzerland due to flooding and heavy snow fall. That’s more than 2 and a half days!
I am competing in 3 comps out here, the first one was today, the next is tomorrow and the final one which is the biggest is next Saturday.
The one today was a South American cup so it is one level below world cup but virtually all of the world cup teams are here for training before next Saturday so it might as well have been a world cup if you looked at the start list.
I had a good qualifying run and qualified second. There was me and the girl in first then a gap of about 2 seconds before anyone else’s time, which I thought was quite cool. One thing to my advantage I think is that there were two big rollers just before the final kicker which some of the guys were doubling (jump off one and land on the far side of the next) but I was the only girl doing it so that got me a lot of extra speed.
Because I got the 2nd best qualifying time I actually got to pick which gate I came out of which was unusual! I got a good start in my first heat and led the whole way down, I actually won it by about 50 metres.
My Second heat started much the same with me getting a good start out of the gate and I got into the lead, then I somehow managed to face plant into the 2nd turn filling my goggles with snow and whacking my face. I got up and wasn’t hurt but the problem was I couldn’t see anything through my snow filled goggles, I tried to get the snow out but it wasn’t working so I abandoned them over the back of my helmet. Now I couldn’t see because of the snow spray in my eyes of course. Just to make it worse it felt like I had a runny nose but when I looked down at my glove there was blood everywhere! I wasn’t going to stop though I wanted to pass at least one of the girls in front of me to get into the next round. I thought and did all this while chasing them down the course. I got pretty close to the second girl near the end of the course but by this time I couldn’t see very well and was starting to feel dizzy so I didn’t manage to get the speed up to double the rollers and pass.
That meant I then had to detach myself from the ski patrol (who were convinced I was bleeding too much and should just sit down) so that I could get back up to the top for the small final (to determine places 5-8) I still felt a bit dizzy but wanted to finish the race. I got a good start out of the gate again - 3 in a row is unheard of for me - but one girl got in front of me around the 4th turn. I kept going full speed and passed her about 20 seconds later then lead the race to the finish to take 5th over all.
Not a bad start to the season, apart from I got blood all over my white top and now have to try and wash it out!