It is my 22nd Birthday today and I am flying back to LA from a World Cup in Manchester, where I was the 2nd oldest member of the team! This is significant for 2 reasons. The first being that for years I have been the youngest or almost youngest on the team and I found it a bit strange to be the “elder”. The 2nd is that I was member of a mostly development team at this WC. Our big hitters sat this one out which opened up spots for the up and coming riders. Considering that the last time I raced in Manchester in 2008 I was 1 of 2 riders with 1 coach, and that we now have enough new riders to have a development team shows how much our program is growing and it is very exciting.
The race was very positive for me because I showed improvement in the areas I have been targeting in my training, and also because I have new things to work on before the World Championships next month. It seems I am starting to get a lot of things right but still making mistakes that cost me the win or a chance at the next round. I am doing my best to be aware of all the mistakes, to learn from them, and am grateful that I have had the opportunity to race all of the world cups this year, the race experience has made a big difference for me.
In the sprint tournament I qualified in 14th position. I raced against Olga Panarina from Belarus in the first round and lost which put me in the B finals. Here I raced against Wai Sze Lee from Hong Kong and won! This meant that I was now in the top twelve, and for the first time ever I raced myself into a higher position than I qualified. I was very pleased with this race. Following that one I raced Lisandra Guerra from Cuba and Sandie Clair of France but I was defeated both times.
The next day in the keirin tournament I had Victoria Pendleton (Many time World Champion and Olympic Champion), Olga Panarina who had beat me the day before in the sprints, Miriam Welte from Germany and two others, and I had to win the heat to get to the next round. To be honest I didn’t really think I would win it but I just wanted to have a positive race. I read the race really well, raced aggressively, and somehow, coming down the last stretch I found myself in the lead and won! I was relegated however, for coming out of the sprinters lane in the last corner. (In the final sprint, if you are at the bottom of the track, you cannot come up past the red line. I didn’t mean to do this, and they didn’t have to relegate me, but they had every right to and I should know better.) I am very disappointed about this mistake, but I would much rather learn my lesson now than at the World Championships. I’ve posted the video below.
In the end I didn’t make the next round of the keirin but I was very close and am getting better every time.
Overall I am pleased and enjoyed my week in Manchester very much.
Thanks for following,
PS Congratulations to BOTH Zach Bell and Tara Whitten for being overall World Cup leaders in the omnium for the 2011-2012 season. A really great accomplishment and motivation for all of us.