Last week I got home from a three and a half week trip to the first two rounds of the World Cup series. It was a great trip and I had a lot of fun riding the new tracks and traveling to the new places!
Fort William, Scotland was the first race. First day of practice on Friday was a bit of an eye opener to how fast and rough World Cup tracks really are. Practice was very short so I struggled a bit to dial in my lines, but I was also having a lot of fun riding the wide-open track and hitting the massive jumps at the bottom. Qualifying on Saturday didn't go very smoothly, I was on a good run until I had some small mechanical issues and slid into a tree halfway down which stopped me for a few seconds. I finished 103rd in qualifying, 5 seconds off that top 80 qualifying spot. I was a little bummed, but was happy to have survived my first World Cup!
Got a cool photo in the Vital mtb qualifying slideshow at Val di Sole. vitalmtb.com/photos/features/QUALIFYING-ACTION
Then I was off to Val di Sole, Italy. The track was insanely rough and full of G-outs. Again it was hard to get up to speed and be ready for qualifying after only six or so runs down the mountain. In qualifying I had some close calls that I was able to ride out of but I also had two that stalled me up and slid me into the tape. I finished 113th, 5 seconds off that top 80 again. I felt good, but just couldn't put full runs together.
Photo from the road gap drop at Fort William
After Val di Sole I stopped in Venice for three days of being a tourist before I headed home.
I didn't come away with the best results, but I definitely learned a lot and gained a lot of experience riding those tracks. Its a big step in my riding moving up to race the World Cups as an Elite, but with these first two races under my belt I know what to work on and know what to expect for the next races. I feel confident in how I'm riding and know what I can do, just have to put it all together.
I am heading up to Whistler for a few days of riding/training this week and then I'm off to the second round of the Canada Cup series at Sun Peaks and Canadian National Championships at Panorama.
My schedule for the rest of the season is a little unknown right now as it depends on points and placings at the next National races. But I will be attending most of Crankworx, probably the Mont Saint Anne World Cup and then possibly World Champs or the last two World Cups.