My last trip of the year started off with the Plouay World Cup in Plouay, France at the end of August. It was a successful day for the team with Evie finishing second. I was happy to see her counter my attack and get away for a great finish for her and the team. After Plouay, I spent a week in Limoux, France with my teammate Amanda Miller. We enjoyed the quiet week to train and to get ready for the next block of racing, 3 races over 8 straight days.
The block started with a one day TT in Italy, the Davide Fardelli Memorial. I raced well in the rain and finished 3rd to Judith Arndt and Emma Pooley. After the race, we drove 750km to the Ardeche region of France. The travel was necessary since the Tour of Ardeche started the next day. I raced well here, but I had some bad luck on the second road stage that took me out of the GC. Unfortunately, I had to do a bike change at a very critical moment when the pack was already strung out on a downhill. By the time the car got to me and I chased back, the GC split was gone. It worked out ok, though, because Amanda had made the split, and it was a great chance for her to be in the GC leader position on the team. In addition to Amanda’s success, our Swedish representative, Emilia Fahlin, started a personal (and team winning streak.) By the end of the 6 day, 7 stage event, we had won 5 stages, the young rider jersey, and team GC. It was a successful race, and I was happy to be the captain involved. Once I finished the Ardeche Tour, I was back in the car with my director driving another 500km north to Reims, France for the Chrono Champenois which started the very next day. There, I had another solid TT. Actually, it was a really solid race, since I was second to Judith Arndt (soon to be world champion,) and I felt like my form was really coming around perfectly at just the right time.
However, In the midst of all this racing and then through the days up to the World Championships, I was caught up in a little bit of controversy with the selection process for the World’s TT. The original selection process did not include me for the second TT start position. However, I believed the USAC selection criteria had not been properly followed, and so I asked for the issue to be readdressed. It was not a personal thing. It simply had to do with selection criteria established prior to the season. Long story short… the decision was reversed. It was a LOT of extra stress, but it was the right thing to do, and I think the fact the decision was reversed proved this. It was unfortunate that it impacted my preparation for Worlds, but I did my best to stay completely focused on the ultimate goal, and I was still really close to getting it done.
Next up were the World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. The World Championships are always the grand finale of the season. And once again, it was truly an honor for me to represent my country for the 10th time at World’s. I never take the opportunity for granted, and it is always my goal to be prepared and dialed to do damage.
This year, I ended up 8th in the TT. My goal was the podium, and I know it was realistic considering that I was on the podium with the gold and bronze medalist in two races within the previous 2 weeks. However, considering the unusual lead in, I was still happy that I was able to remain focused and have a solid ride. My top ten finish also secured two start spots for the USA at next year’s Olympics.
The Road Race was a strange race for the women. I expected more teams to be racing for a breakaway, but everyone was really focused on a bunch sprint. I tried to get things going on the 8th lap, but nobody wanted to play with me. I continued to try to animate things for the USA in the last laps, but really, nothing was ever going to go. Clara made a good attempt, and I tried to get up to her, but the Germans were always super quick to pull me back. (No trade team plotting here!) The USA had two plans… ride for a break in the final laps with 3 of us, while the other 3 would be ready for a sprint with Shelley. There was no breakaway, and there were 3 crashes in the final 3k’s that impacted our chances in the sprint. Aaaahh bike racing. So close… yet so far.
I’m back home now. I am still trying to sleep past 5AM and stay awake past 8, but my body clock will be back to normal soon. I will send another note about the season overall and what’s coming next year soon.
For now… thanks again for all of your support!
All the best,