It has been a few years since I last raced at Albstadt, the last time being my very first U23 World Cup, back then being a part of the GB Cycling team as a rider on the Olympic Academy program. A lot has changed since then and I was excited to be returning to World Cup level racing again at the Albstadt venue.
It being my final year as an under 23 rider I am determined to give cross country mountain bike a serious shot. I want to be a professional in this sport and the only way to do this now is to not give up and to use my grit and determination to succeed. I am no longer a full-time athlete and have had to learn the balancing act between part time work and training, which has taken me a while to learn to manage. So to even be here racing at the World Cup series has definitely not been easy but I am incredibly proud to be here racing in the British Champion top.It was great to have a great group of privateer Brits out here to train with and have the support from, it makes trips like this completely worth it when there are others to enjoy it with, even my Dad made the trip out with me and had a great time!
I went in to Saturdays race relatively relaxed, although still a little nervous but I had no pressure, not even from myself which is probably a first! I had a great start riding in 5th for the first half of the start loop and getting myself straight in to the bike race instead of chasing through. I was happy to be riding up at the front and in with the best girls in the world, I knew I had good form but I was surprising myself!
The climbing is super steep as well as the descents, which I had a few tumbles on due to just feeling destroyed once I had made it to the top, trying to get back down with no recovery was never going to be easy on the greasy drops and turns.
I was more than happy to finish 16th, emptying the tank all the way to the finish. I now know what level I am at, and it gives me more of an idea of what more I can try to achieve.
So here I am, sat in the van with Maxine in the driving seat on our way to La Bresse for round 3 of the World Cup series to put ourselves through the pain and to do it all again this weekend.
Big thanks to all my sponsors for helping me get here, The Missing Link, KTM Bikes, The Cycle Jersey, Hope Technology, Schwalbe Tyres & Team Boot Out Breast cancer Cycling Club.
Words - Beth Crumpton
Image - Mario Yskout