I believe that small steps every day add up to big results. For me it’s not about being perfect, have everything under control and follow the rules, but have the right feeling with me everywhere and trust that enough to lead me to the right places. I think the changes occur when I learn from what I go through and I try to make that little effort when possible to improve those flaws I find on my way. The two last World Cups contained positive lessons and situations. I could feel improvements of my strength and endurance since Albstadt and Nove Mesto, which felt good in the climbs and in the last 30 minutes of the race. In Andorra, I felt my stronger engine in the step climbs, when the thin air (1900hm) made it even harder than it already is. I had the power to continue my pace, keep lap times close and finish in 6th position. In Lenzerheide, which is a completely different scenery, I felt that I recovered quicker and could spend my power better, again close lap times and a strong finish. It’s just a general better feeling during the race when you can sit with a little mental profit and actually be able to enjoy the whole circuit. Beside riding I was also mentally strong and found a good mindset before race start, so the balance between excitement and nerves is the way I like it. The World Cups also contained more negative lessons I only can look at with constructive eyes to improve.
In both races, I struggled a bit with the bike handling, not that the obstacles were scary or something like that, but some of the other riders were simply just faster, and I couldn’t keep up as I wanted to. In Andorra, I battled with an Italien girl and I lost a few seconds in a downhill every lap, which made the difference from 5th to 6th spot. I went to Lenzerheide with a mission to get the lines on the course dialled as perfect as possible. So when I was on the start line in Lenzerheide I knew where to go, when to shift gears, I had everything dialled as good as I could. It didn’t take long before my fine fine plan went a bit off track. In the first lap, I crashed on the biggest rock on the course and it was bad. I was stuck between rock, fence, marshal and my Ghost bike. Bit of a situation. Especially half a lap into the beginning of a cross country race, this is critical. But I made my way out of the mess and came back in the game. The next 10 minutes I used a lot of energy to catch up the lost time (or at least try to, but of course the group was gone) and I was scared of the consequences. But my body recovered quickly and I could continue my race like nothing really happened. Even 6th and 5th spot was in sight. But again I won time in the uphill and lost time in a more flat and bumpy part of the track, where the ability to ride the bike smooth and keep the pedalling going was essential.
So now I’m home again. Thinking a bit about these situations and how to make myself better prepared for the next ones to come? My team manager advised me to spend some time on a pump track / BMX track to improve my skills to get the speed with me. I went to bmx training with Loic, with my 29’er tough, it was hard for me, but the dropper made it possible to actually ride there, hah. And today I went up Col de Vence and found a tricky track with rocks to get down again. With the mind already thinking about Mont Saint Anne and Val di Sole. Trying to prepare myself for the tracks and my chances to do a good job. I guess it will be hot, rocky and bumpy.
I have been super consistent the 4 first world cup races, but still many things to improve and details to add, so I can step up my game and be a part of the fight for the top top spots one day. As I said I think changes happens when you let the situations you meet sink in and take the opportunity to become a better athlete, person or whatever you aiming for.
It’s weird how I felt better racing these to races compared to the first world cups of the season.. Result wise not a big difference, but I guess that focus on changes, improvements and efforts makes greater result in the end than the focus on the result itself?
Happy to be back in Nice, happy to look back at the last two weeks with a smile on my face. I’m so lucky.
Thanks for reading my stories. Hope it inspires and gives a glimpse of my journey.
A fresh bubble bath, a cosy playlist and letting the thoughts fly is the best way for me to cool down after a race. Especially after race like this season’s second round of the World Cup in Albstadt, it was hot. Badrr hot. Like the heat when you step into a car after a few hours in the sun. I’m still cooling down. In the body as well as the mind, it has been two weeks of hard work, 2 World Cups and an exam, back and forth; Denmark - Czech - Germany - Denmark - Germany - Denmark.
Back to the beginning of this week, I left The Ghost Team Monday evening after a visit with our team from Adidas. They provide us with our clothing, both casual, outdoor and cycling apparel. Super cool to visit the Adidas HQ and meet the team behind.
To give me a warm welcome home life gave me a 5 hours exam in a sweating gym hall together with 100 other students, typing and reading the best we learned. Directly after I went for few hours on the bike. Didn't really take my mind with me out for riding that afternoon, just my legs spinning around. Thursday ‘morning’ the alarm went off at 4.45 — off to Albstadt. A few flights and delays later I was in Albstadt, where the World Cup was held. Fortunately, my boyfriend, Loic, was the one to pick me up at Stuttgart airport, which made my day way better. Friday I learned my lines and tried to get into race mode. Getting into race mode is important for me, so Saturday I went to the track ones again, I tried to go a little faster and imagine my race. Andy filming, Loic trying to make me gab rock gardens (no problem malle mmm..), and Sebi giving notes - what a team I have around me.
My race didn’t go exactly as I imagined. Luckily I have an imagination who always sees the bad ass women inside of me and never giving me negative ideas, so I was on the start line feeling strong, happy and with a deep believe in myself :-) I was already sweating a bit so Uwe took a cold towel around me to cool me down before race start. My race is a little blurry for me now, I now I was digging as deep as possible and I was completely empty crossing the finish line. But it was a tough day for me, a few crashes in bad moments (okay is there good moments for a crash..? maybe not, but still) took my focus a little, but I fought through it. And I was proud of myself after the race. Plus I kept my body temperature down and stayed hydrated in the heat, better than I have done before. And as this race not will be the last hot race this season, I’m happy to find a good way. Thanks to my team for making it possible with all the effort and planning it takes.
I’m leaving the two first World Cups with a few mixed feelings. Results and body shape is not exactly as I hoped it would be at this time of the year, but not bad. I know where I am right now, and I can take the information with me home and work on it. At least I have things to improve :-) And the two races was a solid performance, both Sunday’s I raced with everything I had in me, and never gave up.
So I will take a bubble bath more. This time in pink soap. Process it, make plans, letting the pink bubbles restart my system and let my positive mind dig the bad ass women out again. So I can tighten the shoes again tomorrow and go for another training.
Pssst! Swipe in the pictures below!
Standing on the start line for the first world cup of the year is never really a super comfortable situation. The tension is in the air and it feels like standing in a fog filled with nerves and fast heart beats. I knew my shape was good and I had a good feeling going into this race weekend. Around me was 55 other girls who had been working hard all winter to be as fast as possible for these races. So with 1 minute to go, I took a last really deep breath, swallowed my gel, gave our Team manager, Tom, a high five, and ready - steady - go!
My start was brilliant for me, sitting in 3rd position as we came around the start/finish area to begin lap no 1. On lap no 1 Kate (USA) and Evie (GB), quick disappears out of sight and shows a class above the rest of us. I was sitting in a group of 4 together with Sina Frei, Worst & Gerault, pushing super hard and fighting our lungs out for every meter (it literally feels like that, it’s so damn hard). I enter lap 2 in 5th position, still together with the 3 others. As we keep on going, the position fight is crazy, overtaking, a few mistakes and so on makes it chaotic and I’m having a hard time finding my own rhythm. I’m in my own little bubble, trying to hold on to everything I know, trying to get the control over my breathing. From behind 2 other riders makes their way up, and we’re now in a group of 6 (as far as I could count), fighting for the spots between 3rd and 8th. In the end of lap 3 Sina makes a breakaway, and on the last lap Worst, Lena and Martina takes the front of the group. On the finish line, I sprinted my way to the 7th spot against the American girl Haley batten. (First time ever I win a sprint finish, oh!). Satisfied with my effort, but still thoughtful of what I could have done to take that 3rd spot home. In the end, I had 20 seconds to top 5 and 1 minute to 3rd. When racing with so many strong riders, it’s the smallest details that make the different in a race like yesterday, it’s luck, mistakes, mentality, how the course suit us, the start, and so on. All of it puts together the number on the result list. I suffered so much out there tough, sometimes a little too much, I felt, hoping for better days to come, where the fun factor is bigger than the suffering (you know what I mean..).
But the number on a result list is hard to handle for me. I mean it's something I can’t control. I did my very best yesterday, with all that I had that day - it might not look so amazing on the paper, but it was actually a pretty good day, with a lot I can take with me to Albstadt. Because what is the good race recipe? For me, it’s not the same every time. When every World Cup rider out there are training so hard and so much - can a one day result decide if that was a good recipe or not? In my race, I did almost everything as I wanted to. If I could change something, I wish I had been strong enough to keep the little gap I had after the start loop and keep on pushing for that, so I could have had a more ‘easy’ race on my own. But I didn’t - and that is something to improve, to the recipe. Luckily my physical abilities only go one way, so I believe that hard work pays off, and doing it my way is the best for me. Albstadt is only in one week time, and I’m so excited to see what I’m capable of doing there. Maybe I can have a good fight again, feel a little better, or maybe have a different number on the result list - who knows? I think sometimes results are such a cruel part of racing. If a rider delivers a worse result on the paper compared to what they have done previously, the search for reasons is on, maybe a bad day, crashes, stomach problems, and so on - or maybe the others were just stronger? But I guess that is what makes us athletes, that we’re always looking for improvements and are critical to our own performance. And if we don’t find ourself among the riders we’re used to - something must be wrong.
Okay now I’m just writing down unfinished thoughts down. What I really wanted to find was that recipe. But before I can try again next weekend I need to go home. Flying home to Copenhagen tonight, having an exam this Wednesday, and then off to Albstadt again on Thursday - to continue this World Cup journey.
All the best
Photos from Ego-promotion: