Monday, January 23, 2012

4th at the World Cup in Veysonnaz, Switzerland.

Yesterday I competed in the second world cup event in Veysonnaz and I finished 4th!

The qualifications should have been run on Saturday but it was really windy and girls were being blown off course when in the air so the organizers rightly decided it was too dangerous so cancelled it for that day and ran the qualifications on the Sunday morning before the finals that afternoon.

It was still a bit windy so all the riders were trying to stay as low as they could down the whole course to avoid it as much as possible but it wasn’t as strong as the day before so the race went ahead.

I had a good first qualification run which put me into 4th place. My second run was slightly slower but I kept my 4th position which is my highest qualifying place so far this season.

I am training with the Dutch team this season and there’s one other girl on the team called Bell Berghuis, we knew eventually we were going to end up in the same heat at a world cup and in Veysonnaz it happened. There was Bell, myself and 4 other girls all trying to get into the top 3 to progress to the semi-finals. Bell and I are both super competitive but at the same time we wanted the other to succeed as well.

Because I had qualified well I got first choice of the gates in my first heat which was great. The 6 of us all pulled out and I got into second position after the first jump. Bell got into a crash with another girl unfortunately at that point so she was out. I stayed in second position to the bottom so qualified through to the next round.

I was happy I had got through but disappointed Bell didn’t make it too.

In the semi-final I was in 4th (I think) near the start but then passed into 2nd place over the third jump. I was thinking about half way down “just keep this position and you’re in the final, concentrate on your riding and don’t let the girls behind pass!” I did just that and crossed the line in 2nd place securing my place in the final J

The final was tough with Olympic gold, Silver and bronze medallists making up half the pack. I had a good start out of the gate but made a mistake on the first feature so I was behind over the first jump. I picked up speed quickly though and got into 5th position, then I really got into it. I was heading into the first corner and there was a girl to my left who was a little in front of me and on the proper line for the corner but I knew I needed to pass her quick if I was going to have a shot at the podium so I took a risk and went straight for the apex of the corner knowing I might not be able to hold on and I would lose some speed but hopefully I would get in front. It worked! I got in front of her and even though she came out of the corner with more speed I managed to stay in front so I was now in 4th.

Now I only had to make one more pass to get on the podium but we were nearly at the end of the course! The 4 of us went around the last corner and I took a different line to the girl in 3rd giving me more speed than her coming out of the corner, I was gaining on her over the rollers towards the finish line but just like in my semi-final in the last competition here I didn’t quite manage to get in front before we crossed the line. I think I was about a foot and a half away from doing it.

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