Travelling as far south as Rome for a World Cup cross is a new concept for me, but it takes
all sorts of courses to give us a varied season. The course in Rome was very fast and based
around a horse racing track. If you could pick up an American style course and place it in Europe,
this is it. Corner after corner and 30 plus accelerations a lap. For me it was a lot of fun and a
chance to battle wheel to wheel with the worlds best.

I got a reasonable start. I was 4th through the first pit but Vos was on the gas. The past 10 days
or so she has really found her cross rhythm, and that is ominous for the rest of us to be honest.
She was fast, too fast for everyone apart from Compton. I was in the group going for 3 rd with
some quality riders. We all battled hard, and it was only Nash that was able to break away and
dangle so annoying close to us, but ultimately she was able to hold on for 3rd.

I pushed hard knowing that we needed to keep ahead of the following group. Sanne and Sanne
did their turns and we split our group of 5 with me and the Sanne’s going clear to battle for 4 th.
But the 5th lap wasn’t good for me, I got gapped and had to chase really hard to rejoin the other
two at which point I just didn’t have anything else to give. Van Paassen knew that beating me
was good for World Cup overall classification and I couldn’t respond, leaving me with 6th on the
day and lying 4th in the overall.

The positive were I felt good. Stress free from start to finish and I have the perfect weapon of
choice with my hybrid Challenge tubulars (I mix of the full mud Limus and the super fast Grifo
XS). I really feel like I have my equipment totally dialed and there are lots of cool upgrades and
changes planned already for the 2013 season. The Christmas races were pretty hard on my
bikes, with deep mud, flooded courses and some sand mixed in there for fun. But with three
quick full rebuilds my fleet of bikes are running great. The form is coming and its only 4 weeks to
the World Championships.

Next week is the National Championships which will be held in Bradford in the north of England.
It’s likely to be muddy and a hard race across the side of small hill. It’s a good tough course and
one of the more challenging in the UK so I’m looking forward to that. After that it’s the final round
of the World Cup in Holland and then quickly onto the USA where I’ll be racing in Cincinnati the
week before the Championship. I’m really excited to be going back the USA and hooking up with
my team. I’m not sure what the weather has in store for us at that race, I know there is a lot of
snow for the US nationals, so we’ll have to wait and see.