I’ve been in Ttown for two weeks now, and it’s been a fast two weeks. The first week I was here, without stepping a foot on the track in almost a year, I lined up for the UCI Keirin Cup for some Friday night racing. With enough countries represented to allow class 2 points, I entered knowing some points were better than no points. Our final took place around 11:30pm that night, after a 7:30pm start. With a first round, second round, and final, I found the cup placed in my hands at the end of night. After flying back from Moscow, not riding the track, and jumping in on a whim, even though my training plan clearly stated “off”, I was happy to take top honors and some great keirin points towards world cup ranking!
The following Tuesday, after a heavy training and gym day, I jumped in the class 3 UCI Champions of Sprint Night 1. Even though we had enough countries to make it class 2 or better, since it was registered class 3, that’s where we stayed. The rounds were run similar to what I experienced in Moscow, being 3-4 up rides through each, until I found myself in the final with hometown girls, Dana Feiss and Mandy Marquardt. I was pretty tired from all the work I’d put in earlier that morning and afternoon, but ended up coming home with the win in the end.
This past Friday, yesterday, was the U.S. Sprint Grand Prix. A Class 2 UCI Sprint tournament that began with sprint qualifying at 10am in the morning. I woke up, with incredible back pain, an injury I’ve had before from doing too much, too soon in the weight room. But went to the track anyways. I was hoping warm up would help loosen me up, since being a class 2 event, good points were on the line. The Dutch sprint women were in town, a whole team of 4 women and 4 men, complete with staff support, team bikes, and a photographer were flown in for the whole month of June. They’ve been touring around Germany, racing in Class 1 events, operating as a true team, with, obviously, great support. Not only were they in town, but 2012 Canadian Olympian, Monique Sullivan is back in action, after taking 2 years off! So, clearly, a great field of women sprinters. Twenty-One females took their turn riding the flying 200m, and after completely breaking down in tears from pain, I sat down on the bench and really contemplated what I wanted to do. After much deliberation, I figured I would ride a flying 200m and see what would happen, then stop riding. But then I found myself just pushing through it and riding my way into the semi-final which would take place later that night at 7:30pm.
We went for lunch, I was able to get some much-needed PT work on my back to relieve some pain, and back to the track we went. I lost in the semi-final ride, then went to three rides in the 3/4 final, to come away with 4th place. The dutch girls showed what a strong program they have, how much racing they have been doing, and what support can do for the athletes. It was great to see how a program functions, and what it looks like to have support for summer qualifying races.
Thank you to my sponsors, Atomic High Performance, CNP Performance Sports Nutrition, and Felt Bicycles, for making sure I am well taken care of. Thanks to these last few races, I’ve got good points in the bank. Next up I have the UCI C1 Fastest Man on Wheels night, coming back as the reigning champion, as well as the UCI Festival of Speed. I’m taking some time off this weekend to get my injury taken care of, so I can get back to 100% as soon as possible! This is the last push before heading back to LA and prepping for US Elite Nationals in August!