Today I won the Women’s T2 category of the Time Trial at the 2014 World Para Cycling Championships in Greenville, South Carolina. I am a little overwhelmed actually and even though I was fairly confident coming into this race you just never know how it is going to pane out! I had a nightmare last night, which upon waking was fairly funny but at the time of dreaming wasn’t funny at all! It involved our Road Race which had been changed to add an off road segment so our mechanic had tried to adapt my trike to suit that. To cut a long dream short I ended up flatting a rear tyre and being late for the start. I woke up yelling at the mechanic!
So I get to the course this morning and as that same mechanic Peter G is putting my race wheels on the back of my trike he pumped up the tyre’s and within a couple of minutes there was a huge, and I mean huge bang! The back tube had blown…now I don’t believe in dreams coming true, but he pumped up the second one and that also exploded so violently that it blew the tyre right off! Thank god they had not only extra tyre’s but tubes as well and I had time before I had to warm up. Good thing I’m not superstitious!
The day was starting to get warm but it was still only about 10am when I started my warm up but the humidity was hovering in the 90% area having come down from 100% at 7am! So I was getting a little warm. It was then time to head over to the start where we had bike check and then wait our turn to head off. I was the last of the trikes to head off and the last female having been the winner last year. I had 6 riders in front of me and it was my goal to try to catch them all. I made sure that while waiting for my start I had completely wet my head and then had a wet towel around my shoulders. So I was completely wet as I made my way up the ramp to wait for my count down. The butterflies had started in my stomach while waiting but once I was on the ramp they just disappeared. I knew i had prepared well for this and I loved the course.
There were a number of tight corners which up until this last week I wasn’t really the best at corners, but thanks to Hans-Peter Durst from Germany and riding with him during this last week I worked out what I had been doing wrong. It was definitely a ‘light bulb’ moment for me, so I was excited to think that my cornering would be better. It was the first time internationally that we, T2 riders, were doing 2 laps of a course for the TT. So it was important that I didn’t absolutely kill myself on the first lap.
I headed off and halfway through the first lap I had passed a couple of the other riders and after the first lap had caught a couple more. Towards the end of the second lap with about 3km until the finish I caught my main competitor Marie-Eve from Canada, so that by the end of the race I had only missed catching one rider, Jill from the USA, who had gone off first. It was the first time I had raced against Jill, so I had no idea how fast she actually was, so I knew that I had at least come 2nd. But as I passed the finish line I heard the announcer say that I was now sitting in first place! So with that I knew I had won my second World Championship TT!
It was the best race I have ever ridden! I nailed every corner perfectly (for the first time ever!) and my gear changing was spot on going up and down every hill. It was the first time I had ever had the “Perfect” race and what a time to do it!
As I told my mom when I called her ” I could have come last and known that I had done the best that I could possibly do, I wouldn’t have changed anything”. I gave it my all and that is what racing is all about, leaving it all out on the road, take nothing back with you.