Checking off goals!

    I wish I could have posted more updates here on my blog, but it's been a hectic and unreal past few weeks.   I have had two days sleep in my own bed at home in the past month.   With placing top 35 in my first World Cup finals, securing 2nd overall in the Canada Cup series, and representing Canada at World Championships it's been a crazy and awesome end to my 2013 race season!

Mont Sainte Anne World Cup, Quebec:

     My biggest goal coming into this season was to qualify for a World Cup finals.  Mont Sainte Anne was definitely the perfect place to do just that.   I had some experience on the track from Nationals being held there the year before, so memorizing and learning the track was a lot easier.  I took practice very seriously as I  had only one full day before my qualifying run.  When my qualifying run came around I had everything dialed and memorized.  I took it a little cautiously as I didn't want to throw it away.  I ended up just squeaking into finals at 74th.  I was beyond stoked to be able to compete on Sunday.   I kept hitting my same lines and was feeling very confident on the track.  I had nothing to lose on Sunday so I gave it everything and didn't hold back.  I really had no idea where I would place with a good run like I had, so when I crossed the line I was just so happy I had put together a solid run.  It didn't feel insanely fast because I had every line and pedal section so dialed in practice that it was like a roller coaster and I didn't have to think about the small details I just "got out of my own way" and let myself ride, not over thinking.  I came down and went into the 2nd spot on the hot seat behind Andrew Neethling. I stayed there for quite a while until I got bumped to 3rd and then eventually off the hot seat when the top 40 guys started coming down.  To end up 33rd was crazy and exceeded my goals of a top 60 by a lot.

Crankworx Canadian Open/Canada Cup #3, Whistler:

     Next was Crankworx in Whistler.   The Canadian Open track is the most fun track in BC for me.  I had a lot of fun riding in practice!   My race run was a little scattered but I put down a solid run and ended up 15th, accomplishing my goal of top fifteen.  I was very happy with how it turned out and was relieved that I was in good health for World Champs, which I had to fly out for two days after Crankworx.   My placing that weekend secured me into 2nd overall in the Canada Cup series!!  I was very stoked on this and I ticked off another goal on my list.

World Championships, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa:

    Just to be invited to compete at World Championships this year was amazing.  Being my first year as an elite,  I wasn't sure if I would be selected.   The Canadian National team wanted us there a week early to get adjusted to the time zone and country, so I left a few days after Crankworx.  The first day of practice was a week after we had arrived. The hardest thing to get used to was the dirt, which was either hard packed or loose sand.   The track in Pietermaritzburg is a lot of fun to practice with the big jumps and drifty flat corners.  Racing it is a bit of a different story though.  With a minute flat pedaling section in the middle, it really tests your mental and physical strength.  I was scrambling a little in the first days of practice and didn't really feel comfortable on the track until Sunday morning.   I had a good clean race run and pedaled the hardest I ever have.  My body felt like it just shut down as I crossed the line. Even with all the sprints and training I did throughout the winter, I've never felt that exhausted in my life.  I was .04 of a second behind my fellow Canadian Sid Slotegraaf.   I had decided before I dropped in for my run that if I leave everything on the track and push it as far as I can that would be a win for me.  I did that and finished 45th which I was not super excited about but definitely satisfied with.  It was a very cool experience to travel to South Africa, thanks to my awesome teammates it was a great trip!  Thanks as well to the the National team staff and mechanics for another amazing World Champs!!

Got featured in a Pinkbike article "35 bikes from World Champs"

Thanks for the amazing 2013 season!!

     I know I've used the words awesome, fun and amazing a lot in this blog post but it really sums up my season.   I had a couple bad races and crashes this season but I learned from those mistakes and finished the season a more experienced and faster racer.    Having the chance to race in Scotland, Italy, South Africa, Quebec and BC in one summer was an incredible experience.  I have never had the confidence in my riding that I have now.   Accomplishing my goals, and exceeding them in some cases, is a pretty cool feeling.

I didn't have the budget to attend the last two rounds of the World Cup this year which I was a little disappointed about but it just makes me more motivated to acquire the support to race a full World Cup season in 2014.  I feel that I have a lot to work off of this winter, I know what I need to improve and I have a pretty good idea how to do it.  I will try and take a few weeks off from my bike and training in September, but when I was coming home on the plane from SA I already started thinking about how I wanted to train this off season and where I wanted to be for next season. 

Cheers to my family, friends and sponsors who have supported me this season!!  I can't thank you enough for giving me this opportunity to travel, race and just generally have good times riding bikes!!



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