Apologies its taken so long to put some info up about the last round of the Enduro World Series in Whistler !! I could say that its taken me this long to recover and I wouldn’t be too far from the truth !!
Whistler was a one day race format and a mix of pedalling liaison and chairlift, well actually there was only one stage accessed by the chairlift and the rest we climbed ourselves, all 2400m of up !!
That in itself would make a big day out and combined with a mid morning start and temperatures around 35 C it was a long 8 hour day in the saddle ! I normally would relish the challenge of a big day, but I think the last couple of weeks of racing and travelling had taken its toll on me and maybe a little too much riding in Whistler (?!!) in the run up to the race left me feeling pretty low on energy right from the start.
I felt ok on the first climb, but as soon as I dropped into a newly built trail “microclimate” for stage 1 I felt horrible. My legs and arms just felt like they were full of lactic acid and I just felt stiff on my bike. I got arm pump right away and just felt like I fought my way down the hill !! I loved the trail in practice so felt so sad that I just couldn’t ride it like I had been.
I then climbed up to stage two and had to push a fair bit as I just didn’t feel strong. Sadly that theme continued all day ! A crash on stage 2 didn’t help things and I was now already over 30secs back !
We still had 2 more big climbs and 2 more technical stages to complete. It really felt like a day of survival for me which was a shame as the trails needed to be attacked with energy and confidence to get down them fast and I had neither of those feelings !! I lost more time again to both Anne and Cecile on stages 3 and 4 and going into stage 5 I was just hoping to be able to pull back some of that time on the final 20+ min stage from the top of the world. This final stage we used the chairlift so I knew I could save some energy and hopefully really push the last bit of energy out of me on the more open, fast flowing trails down into the bike park.
I really started to enjoy stage 5 as I could let go a little. About a third of the way down I started to see dust and realised I was catching someone, it was Anne Caro who had got a puncture higher up the stage. I knew then that I needed to keep pushing to try and get some of that time back and for me it was a lucky opportunity to step up the podium to finish 2nd to Cecile.
Cecile rode great all day and really deserved to take her first World Enduro win. Anne finished 3rd and has made sure it will be a great final round in Finale ! I still lead the series but with only 80 points between us it really will be a big race in October !
A big well done to everyone who finished that race and especially to all the girls, some of them I know it was there first enduro race, so massive respect, that was a big day !!