Well today certainly didn’t go as I had quite planned! But then again sometimes it is good to have someone else beat you and teach you a very good lesson in the process.
Our race was supposed to start at 11:02am but was held up by 10 minutes which is no big deal. When it did get underway we headed up and out of the stadium, with me in front. It wasn’t long before Jill Walsh USA, Jana Majunke GER and myself dropped the others. Then eventually Jill and I dropped Jana.
I couldn’t get Jill to take a turn on the front which is her prerogative but by the second lap when we went by one of the USA coaches and he said that we were 45 secs ahead of the German I decided that I had enough of dragging her up the hill so hit my brakes. She ran into the back of me (that’s why we have safety bars) and moved around me and took the lead. I pulled in behind her and we continued. Towards the end of the second lap as we were heading into the stadium, she had slowed right down on the flats and low and behold Jana had made up that 45 secs into the stadium. So I made the call to try and get the jump on them up the hill out of the stadium. But I couldn’t drop Jill, we did however drop Jana.
Then there was no way she was going to take the front and why would she, by staying behind me she saved at least 30% of her energy, while I expended mine. So my mind was going a thousand miles an hour figuring out what to do and on most of the big downhills we had done I had been able to pull away from her a bit so figured I would just have to do it on the last downhill. But no she stayed right with me.
About 100m from the last turn she made her move and passed me and I made a huge mistake on the corner almost taking out the official! (I think he saw his life flash before him) This gave her enough time to just get that little bit further away. I sprinted as hard as I could and was starting to make ground on the track but there just wasn’t enough distance left to catch her.
In the end I won Silver with the Gold going to Jill and Jana eventually took the Bronze. Jill rode a tactical race and got me on the day…I shook her hand at the medal presentation area congratulating her but also told her that it was the last time she would ever suck on my wheel! Thank you Jill for a great lesson today! I think the best thing about it is that I now have a couple of very strong competitors and the category is growing so that is fantastic.