2010 Para-Cycling World Championships
Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Canada
Leading up to Road Worlds I spent a lot of time climbing the various hill around Colorado Springs, Palmer Lake, and Castle Rock. I was having fun and somehow found my time trialing leg and mental place. The training camp leading up to our departure was awesome. The team was able to really come together and I was able to push my body harder and further then I had thought possible. I was tired after all of the hard practices but was able to find the strength for the next morning. I found the bottom on one of the practices but told myself in order to get onto the top of the podium I needed to be able to find the bottom and know what it feels like so come race day I would know to push myself harder and leave everything out on the course.
Going to worlds I knew that I was in top shape. I was riding faster and stronger then I had in previous years. I was ready. We got to the venue before most of the teams and were able to ride the course several times without distractions and others there. I loved this course to be honest. The course was going to be hard and I knew that I could go deeper into the pain cave then most and that this course is going to make people suffer. The hill that was going to make or break the race was a two tier hill, each tier about a kilometer long with a 200 meter reprieve in the middle. Some would see this hill as the main obstacle of the course but I saw it as the best part. After some debate about whether the course was longer than allowed, the number of laps was cut in half. Originally I had to climb the hill twice for the time trial and four times in the road race. Now, in my time trial, I was cut down to only chance to use the hill to my advantage. I had to ride harder then I ever had up a hill. Twice up the hill meant pacing, once up the hill meant sprinting.
I was starting second to last, based off of last year’s results, following a Spaniard and being followed by my teammate. I knew that I had to catch everybody and had to do it on the hill. Good news was that my other teammates, Kelly and Greta, were out on the course the same time I was. It just so happened that Kelly was starting her second lap right as I came out of the start. Thanks to this coincidence I was able to get a little bit of pacing from the start and some words of encouragement from my coach who was in Kelly’s follow vehicle. I managed to keep Kelly and the van in sight all the way to the hill four kilometers in to the course. At this point I was also able to see other riders; a competitor form New Zealand, and my competition from Spain. I did a bit of recovery on the flats before the hill and was glad that I did, as I was able to maintain a sprint up the hill for four minutes (well two two-minute sprints with a forty second reprieve in the middle). I made up half of the distance between the Spaniard and myself climbing the hill and then the other half on the decent heading back to the finish line. I started second to last and finished first. I came in with so much energy that all of my teammates standing around told me that I should go do the course again. I was so excited as I knew that I had just done it and done it right.
For the road race I put extra pressure on myself because I knew I was faster and stronger than the other girls and if I didn’t win it was because of something that I had done wrong. With some good coaching from Craig (our team head coach) I had confidence. For the first two laps of the course I rode at the groups pace, taking my time and ever really pushing my own limits. On the third lap I rode the bottom of the hill at an easy pace and then at half way up the second tier I rode at my pace. I thought that my competition was going to be able to get back up to me on the flats but she never did and I just kept on going. Every hill that I hit I pushed a little bit harder. I recovered on the flats and I think she was making up ground until we got back to the hill for the final lap. I never saw her again. I rode as hard as I could and left nothing out there. It was an amazing feeling knowing that I was able to control the race and to be able to feel confident in my riding.