The First round of the World Cup series was held in Tabor, Czech Republic. It was also my first race in Europe after a successful start to the season in USA. You never know how everyone is going and how the race results compare to form when everyone is together. One thing that was always clear to me though, was Katie Compton was going to be strong, and Sanne van Paassen was looking to take the World Cup overall.
It’s been a few years since I’ve been on the podium in the World Cup and that was my goal. I genuinely wasn’t concerned what step I was on, just getting back on there and setting a baseline for the season. So the goal was clear and my preparation was stress free. We were staying together with the Page family and we had Ian Field with us as normal, so routine was good and removed the focus from bike racing.
It was a misty start to race day, which in cyclo-cross terms means there is water falling on the course. Slick corners and two early races could mean some changes from the previous day, but I was pleased to find I could still use the same tubulars (A custom made hybrid tubular from Challenge).
The only thing to focus on in the race was the start, and to be honest I didn’t exactly nail that, but it was good enough. Before we’d got to the first step run up, I got up to 2nd, and by the planks I took the lead. It was me and Sanne out front and I know the push to the front from Katie wasn’t going to be long. As it worked out it was 2 laps, leaving 3 of us fighting it out at the front. The attacks were thick and fast, and I was gapped a little, but kept fighting and put my focus on the podium spot. With information from my pit I knew I was extending my gap on the battle for 4th each lap which gave me a stress free 5th and final lap where I could just make sure I made no mistakes.
So mission accomplished; onwards and upwards. I’ve got a mid-week race in Holland this week in Woerden, then its Round two of the World Cup in Plzen, a course I really like.
1 Sanne van Paassen (Ned) Rabobank Women Team 0:40:57
2 Katie Compton (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective
3 Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Team 0:00:36
4 Sanne Cant (Bel) Veldritacademie Enertherm-BKCP 0:00:49
5 Nikki Harris (GBr) Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team 0:00:50