Well, here in Kaprun the sun finally shone for the xc races today. In fact, the women´s race, which started at the unearthly hour of 9am, began in cold & very overcast conditions & finished in hot sunshine – the long sleeved skinsuit got a little warm in the last two laps…. but enough about that!
After my 33rd place last week in Leysin I was hoping to improve & today I got 30th so I just about realised my aim of a top 30! The course here was tough, with steep being the order of the day, both up & down! The torrential rain on Friday meant that the descents were thoroughly churned up & pretty technical. After the initial chaos of the first lap, with riders off & running most of the time, things settled down & I was able to use the advantage of my mud handling in the second half of the race to take about seven or eight people. My Bianchi handles fantastically & this certainly helped a lot today.
Marga once again reigned supreme here, with a little known Russian Irina Iguapova (maiden name!!) getting second, Caroline took seventh which keeps her strongly in thrid overall in the series.
It certainly feels good to be back racing World Cups this year & although I have a long way to go, feel very happy at my results thus far. After the debacle that was Easyjet losing my bike for a day last weekend this weekend felt much smoother & my legs felt all the better for not having worked all week! Yep, I think I could get used to being a full timer!
Okay, better dash since we now have to start the not inconsiderable drive back to Geneva to get home. It is a flying visit for me back to the UK before going to St Wendel in Germany at the crack on Thursday for the Euro’s. I can´t wait!!
Bye for now, Jenny
And now here’s Uncle Russ from Kona;
This weekend has brought us to Austria for another triple-headed event.
Friday – DH timed runs & DL qualification
Rain! Rain! Rain! Tracy didn’t risk the conditions and decided to miss the timed DH runs. DL practice & qualification was postponed ’till the Saturday when better weather was promised as the course was too soft with all jumps made from top-soil placed on top of the long grass. Pretty much a day wasted as we hung around until a decision was finally reached.
Saturday – DH 1/2 finals, finals and DL #7
The rain finally stopped, but the course was still massively waterlogged. Tracy went out for the DH qualification, but the sticky conditions were forcing errors, and catching Jonnier up in the woods section meant that Tracy lost concentration momentarily. She qualified a very respectable 4th.
Scott decided that as there were 2 DL rounds, & the conditions were still a little treacherous, he would give the DH a miss.
Tracy was amazed that she hung onto her bike during her final ride, but produced a good time, & with luck on her side (Giove falling at the last corner), finished an excellent 2nd. This podium finish meant that she improved her overall points total, but remained at 7th (with only 61 points separating 3rd to 7th – so all to play for in the last round.
For the Dual Lopes qualified at the top of the field, despite a deceptively slow-looking ride. Scott rode well & qualified 6th. It then transpired that all the top qualifiers had given the DH a miss (at least the few that still compete in both disciplines), so a sensible decision was made earlier. Ross hit the doubles too hard & lost concentration for the rest of the ride, so narrowly missed qualifying.
Scott easily beat Bubla in the first round, but then faced tougher competition against Voreis, Deldycke & Prokop, finally being defeated by Prokop, who was obviously at ease on this course & had qualified 2nd. Some earlier excitement had been that Scott had finished ahead of Deldycke, but he had been red-flagged at the end -due to a commissar thinking that he saw Scott cross the tape ahead of Deldycke. This was later refuted by several other marshals, spectators & Deldycke. The 2nd semi-final saw Scott up against Bootes, producing the closest race of the competition, with a near photo-finish, but with Bootes just taking it.
This placing meant that from only 2 points finishes this season, Scott had moved up to 7th in the overall standings.
Sunday – DL #2
This weekend we were to have two dual events on different course’s due to the round in Var’s being canceled due to extreme weather conditions.
Scott and Ross thought the course was ok and looked pretty quick in practice, but when qualification came they both made mistakes and Scott placed 9th and unfortunately Ross didn’t qualify.
So Scott’s first race was against a local Austrian rider Roman Lagler, as they came out the gate Scott missed a pedal and Roman went in front and unfortunately this course was not designed for passing and Scott tried his hardest and couldn’t pass so was knocked out of this round. The same happened to Mike King.
So Scott finished 17th and this now places him 8th overall.
Our next event is the last round of the Tissot World Cup in Mont Sainte Anne, Canada on the 25th August.
Speak to you then. Russ