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.