Once again it has been a while between reports; I usually only get the motivation to write when the racing is going well, and recently, well, it has been going smooth. I signed off my last report while I was still in the middle of a month-long European stint.
The trip went as good as hoped, with a few snags. After the podium performance at the World Cup in Andorra, I had podium legs in Scotland but technical problems put an end to that opportunity. It made for an interesting race, as after a pit-stop in the technical zone on lap one I had to charge from the back of the pack all the way up to 24th, which I was pretty satisfied with regarding the circumstances.
By now, I can only remember a few things... the weather was unbelievably nice for the whole week, I saw the top of Ben Nevis for the first time and there was one guy I had to ride behind in the race who has become a little notorious for riding downhill extremely slowly. It just bugs me sometimes how people call themselves professional mountain bikers but have never actually learned how to ride a mountain bike. It is not like this individual isn't serious either; he has been a National Champion, top ten in the World Cup and he actually rides a full suspension with riser bars, which, you would think it would help him ride down hills faster. I am just saying if you want to race mountain bikes it might be a good idea to learn to mountain bike a little bit. Okay that is my rant, see if you can figure out who I am talking about... he might like sauerkraut.
So from Scotland we went to Willingen, Germany, where they serve sauerkraut a lot. There is a big bike festival there and it was a great place to hang out for a week besides the fact it rained a lot, I got sick and the beer isn't very good. I got some decent training in though and thanks to the Maxxis Germany guys there, who hooked us up for the week. We had time there to hang out before our last stop of the Euro campaign, the World Championships in Italy.
I was sure glad to get to Italy, the land of excellent one euro macchiatos, because my beans were getting old and I was tired of hand grinding my beans. I figure the hand-grinder, although annoying, was some good cross-training while in Europe. At the Worlds, it was a hot steamer and I wasn't quite healthy; I was satisfied to end up with a 16th and move on with a few more points in the bank.
I flew back from Europe, had a few fleeting moments with Keri and the animals and then I was straight off to another NMBS bike meet in Park City, Utah. I fell a little short of the "W" in the XC, took the "W" in the STXC and was bitterly disappointed to have a technical problem in the Super D. After some trash talking with the downhillers all week I wasn't able to take it to them as I wanted; next time they better watch out if I don't have any problems. It was cool to see my team-mate "Caveman" Cole step up and take a win in the Dual Slalom though; I was happy to take some credit though for pushing his bike back up the hill for semi-finals and finals.
Read the complete diary entry.
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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews. She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.
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