What a season! The World cup series has now come to a close and in a pretty darn fantastic fashion. The World Cup finals in Windham, New York saw myself and the Luna team achieving many season goals. Luna put a rider on the podium at every World cup this season and we took the team overall in a dominating fashion. I achieved my 2nd World cup win of the year and my first World Cup overall title.
After a 5 year absence, the USA once again saw themselves hosting a World cup and the town of Windham put on a great event. You could feel the positive vibes sent out from the town. Church signs welcomed us with "You Pedal, We Pray" and coffee shops marveled at the amount of espresso consumed and by so many different accents. There were nightly parties and lots of entertainment outside of the racing.
Keith was traveling with me and we made it more of a trip than just racing. Flying into Montreal we made our way slowly to Windham with a stop at the Kingdom Trails in East Burke,Vermont. Having Keith with me makes life feel more normal and helps keeps me grounded for these big events.
With him, the team and my parents coming down for the event I felt more like I was vacationing than heading into World cup finals as the number 1 ranked rider who had some serious work ahead of her in order to retain that position.
Race day dawned and I was still in my relaxed mode, perhaps because I new bigger stressors were still to come! Sunny, clear skies greeted us on our way to Daly's (our local coffee stop). Sitting in Daly's we ran into Blick from Oakley, my parents and some other racers and sat around chatting for an hour before heading to the venue.
I started strong, which seems to be a welcome trend. By strong I mean I maintained top 10 and didn't let myself get pushed out to 30th. Marie Helene led the charge followed by Georgia. By several minutes in I made contact with them and by mid lap had moved into the lead and kept on charging. At the top of the long 13 minutish climb I had a small lead which I was able to extend on the descent to about 20 seconds.
MHP was climbing strong though and would bring in several seconds every climb while I would put the time back into her every descent. Georgia was maintaining a close gap to Marie while I had a little safety as 2nd and 3rd overall in the WC series, Eva Lechner and Willow Koerber, were sitting outside the top 5.
With Marie charging hard I couldn't relax, but I couldn't shake her either. I knew she was coming for me. She later said "I had the eyes". If i couldn't extend my gap I could at least make myself hard to catch. Last lap she closed about 20 seconds on me and took the lead into the final climb,but she was breathing hard,really hard. I took a moment to gather myself on her wheel and then made a surge on the final climb into the descent. She followed me into the woods and through the first tricky singletrack. With that section completed the major spot for error was over and I tried to open it up on the descent. I had a near slide out in one section, but railed through others and was able to gain precious seconds. We charged towards the finish line where I enjoyed a 4 second advantage to celebrate a world cup and world cup series overall win in front of my family and Sponsor LUNA.
Georgia rode in with a strong 3rd place welcomed by her plentiful cheering family while Katerina struggled with mechanicals sure to giver her fire for next week.
Thanks to everyone who helped make this weekend and Season such a success!