I have been very busy with lots of stuff not related to progression and performance on the bike lately. Organizing the Norwegian Championship and -Cup, organizing trials at the Extreme Sports Week, moving in to a new flat, lots of shows and driving to shows (like 12h each way kind of driving). On top of that, I hurt my knee pretty bad at the ESW, which resulted in me being unable to maintain my normal training regime for 1,5 week prior to the world cup this weekend. It’s safe to say that my expectations weren’t sky high.
But, I also thought that maybe a 1,5 week break from riding could give me a boost in recovery and some kind of a blank slate. Though it felt strange to warm up the day before my quarter finals in Les Menuires. I was lacking technical confidence and stability, and my knee was painful. But, really, how much skills can you loose in 1,5 week off the bike? Not much, I guess. I realized it’s mostly a mental kind of thing, and changed the whole situation to my advantage.
I started the quarter final in the worst possible way. First section, and I got one point of the first obstacle. Just silly, wrong choice of technique, and a very slippery concrete element. Then, when I jumped down the last obstacle of the first section, I messed up, maybe I slipped a bit, and landed almost two wheels at the same time from a around two meters high drop. Boom, and my handlebar snapped (non-Echo) straight off. Luckily I managed to save it with one dab, and could roll out the section with only two points. Then some super stressed 20 minutes were next up. Mads Lexander did a great job as a minder/filmer, and he ran down to our flat to find a replacement handlebar (that’s tough at 1900 meters). In the meantime I removed the broken bar, brake levers and grips. We did a good team job, and 22 minutes into the quarter finals, I was riding section number two.
With a 70 minutes race, lossing 20 minutes in one section is dramatic. Also, the race was held at those already mentioned 1900 meters altitude, so you need a bit of a break between the sections. Luckily we managed to stay cool, and with the exception of a dab in section two, I cleaned everything else for the rest of the race. With a total of three points, I was number three in my group, and directly qualified for the semi finals. Krakow redemption time on!
The knee hurt a lot after the race, and I went to the pharmacy to get anything that could enhance its condition. Ice, compression, pain killers and some natural medicine the pharmacist recommended. Placebo pills at best. Ready for semi finals.
Last year, the semi final sections often had a bit too big obstacles for me. Luckily my winter training has given me a lot of progression in this area, and only a few obstacles where on or just above my capacity. I started the semi final the best possible way, by zeroing the first three sections. In the end I got four fives, and two single dabs I could’ve been without (rolled off the pedal once). This gave me an total of 22 points, 10 points from the finals cut. A 14th place, which is my best race result ever.
After a messy trip home with a GPS fail (drove on a red flow through the entire Geneva downtown), delayed flight, missing bike bag and missing the last airport express train and thus missing the tram home, I woke up to the awesome fact that I’m now ranked 11th in the world, only five points form being top 10, which is a huge goal of mine. So motivated for the Euro champs and next world cups this month, better ride well to deserve this ranking.
Enjoy the videos from the race in Les Menuires, filmed by Mads on the Ricoh WG-M2, and edited by me.
Featured image by Marco Patrizi.