Last weekend’s Houffalize World Cup was a successful one for up-and-coming mountain biking talent Bec Henderson. Henderson took second in the under-23 race, 40 seconds behind winner Rozanne Slik (Feenstra Stevens Bike Team) but raced strongly and on another day may well have taken the win.
"I started really well... and found myself at the front," she said on her blog.
"I rode the lap shaking and a little uncomfortable thinking - what am I doing here? I don’t belong at the front of the race," the Aussie commented.
When she was eventually caught at the front, it was only a lapse in concentration that ending up costing her a chance at the win.
"I made the stupid mistake of looking behind on one of the climbs and stuffed up. This is where she got the gap and that was the race."
"I gave it everything and got back onto her wheel, only an elite rider got between us and was stubborn and wouldn’t let me through."
Describing the finale Henderson said that while it was disappointing to have been so close, she was more than happy with second.
"The gap from me to her [Silk] first got as big as 40 second and as close as 25 seconds on the last lap. I was closing in on her but didn’t have enough in the tank to catch up."
"I’m not sure what the final gap was [40 seconds], but I was stoked to cross the line in 2nd place, especially in such a highly ranked race."
The day also marked the Australian’s first drug test for her time in Europe. Henderson was happy to be tested and hoped to be tested more.
"If you’re being tested, you’re obviously riding well - so I want to be tested as much as possible."
Henderson’s next race is the Racer Bikes Cup in Solothurn, Switzerland.
You can follow all of the young Aussie’s riding reports here, on her blog.