Simms "happy" with seventh spot

By Gregor Brown in Treviso Canadian Wendy Simms' hard preparation for the World Championships paid...

By Gregor Brown in Treviso

Canadian Wendy Simms' hard preparation for the World Championships paid dividends with a seventh place result on Sunday in Italy, up five spots from here finish three years ago in St. Wendel, Germany. The three-time Canadian Cyclo-cross champion arrived in Europe on December 18, and felt that all her training and racing to prepare for the day's event in Treviso was worthwhile.

The 35 year-old started the race strong and then managed her resources. "I had a good start, I was in the lead for a bit," commented Simms from Treviso, where the snowcapped Alps provided a majestic backdrop to the day's racing.

"You fade and it always feels like crap," she continued. At one point Simms looked in contention for a podium spot. "Of course I am disappointed, but those are pretty lofty goals with everyone running so strong," she noted on the medal hunt. "I went for it, but I could not stick with Hanka [Kupfernagel] and the rest so I had to let off and recuperate before coming back strong. ... I was there in the front, I put the hammer down and tried, but I was not strong enough to hold it.

Simms was pleased with the progress she's made this season. "It is a big jump from the last couple of years. Seventh definitely makes me happy. It is better than all my others."

The French team put in a particularly good performance, Simms said, taking third through fifth places, and made the racing hard. "The French were so strong in the long mud sections. I would try to ride steady and they would just attack. There were just like two or three of them – one after another. I was fading a bit on the hills but then I would do really well on the mud sections, where I kept it steady. It was really on this side [right after the start finish] where I had to work harder."

Simms will return to Vancouver Island for a slight vacation before starting the mountain bike season. "I get a bit of a break and then I roll right onto mountain bike. I will eat lots a junk, go skiing and snow boarding – playing at home – then get back on the mountain bike."

For more on Simms read Gaining experience on European ground.

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