Our stay in the Czech Republic was pretty good. Was nice to catch up with Milky again at Penzion Bystre and the week went by quite fast. Most days were taken up with training on the course and the odd excursion to look at some of the local sights. The weather was quite average again and very cold but at least it was a bit drier and we didn’t have to spend so much time cleaning our bikes.
|Our accom for the week in Czech Republic, Pezion Bystre.|
|The local church|
|Our room, pretty cosy.|
|On the start line|
Like the first round I started from 19th but mindful of blowing up like last week I perhaps sub consciously held back a bit around the start lap and came through in 20th but still well in contact with the front of the race. Unlike last week I was able to immediately move up and I quickly passed a group of riders up the first climb and was feeling really strong. Maybe a little too strong and in my eagerness to get going I made a couple of mistakes. Losing traction on some slippery roots up a climb and having to dismount and run while attempting an unnecessary passing manoeuvre and then crashing on a simple piece of track and twisting my bars. This made the first lap the slowest of my race and I dropped back to 24th. Luckily it didn’t take long to get into a good rhythm and I was soon back riding pretty well and moving up through the field. I felt so much stronger particularly on the climbs compared to Albstadt and made it up inside the top 20 reasonably easily.
|Moving up the field|
After the slight drama in the beginning, the race seemed to pass super quickly. I lost track of what lap I was on through the middle so was a bit surprised to come through the start finish area to see 1 lap remaining and upped my urgency making sure to leave everything I had left out on the track. The last lap was a good one for me and I had a great battle with a couple of other riders constantly changing position around the course. One of them got the better of me in the end but I was able to hold onto 13th position beating my previous best World Cup finish of 14th last year at the same venue.
Pretty pleased with my ride in the end. Great to improve on my result from the first World Cup in Albstadt and good for the confidence moving on from here. I have one more World Cup remaining on this trip in Val di Sole, Italy with an Italian Cup round as preparation the weekend before.