Recovery from Fort William took a few days as I think both mentally and physically that weekend is a big drain on your energy levels !! After a short day and a half at home of pretty much just washing, doing emails and cleaning out the campervan it was time to pack up again, set the alarm and be off to the airport at 5am ! I did have chance to quickly check the weather and the forecast was not great, rain all week. So when I landed in Salzburg on Wednesday afternoon I was not surprised for it to be pouring with the rain. However on the short drive to Leogang the sun came out and things looked good.
Thursday we also had a pretty good day and we walked the track to find some new changes from last year. They had done a lot of work to build berms in all the places where there was an awkward flat turn or ledge so it looked as though the racing would be much faster and a little easier than last year. However the weather would be changeable all weekend raining mostly during the evening and then drying up gradually throughout the day. I struggled to get into the course on Friday and took a while to build up the confidence on some of the jumps. I had done them all by the end of the day and felt better but just didn’t feel as though I was going fast enough. Saturday started off a little bit wetter but started to dry up quite well. I didn’t ride well in qualifying and found myself in 3rd spot over 6 secs off the fastest time set by Floriane Pugin.
Race morning came after a long night of rain and conditions were really tough. The rain stopped and the mud was so thick and sticky the track was runny so slowly it was really tiring just to muscle though the corners and massive ruts and holes that were appearing !! I had a nice crash in the mud on my first run, covering myself head to toe in mud. The second run was better and the track was drying all the time. I was struggling to feel as though I had the speed to win on this track but I managed to put together a good race run, probably some of the best riding I had done all weekend so I was really pleased with that. I went into the hotseat with a good lead of about 6 secs over Myriam Nicole and then had to wait to see if my time would be good enough.
It came so close with Rachel but she eventually nudged me into 2nd spot by 0.1sec and then I was put into 3rd by race winner Floriane Pugin who took a further 2.5secs off Rachel’s time. Floriane had looked great all week in practice and it was her first world cup win after many 2nd places so I was really happy for her. 3rd place was a good result considering I struggled to find the speed on this track. I still maintained the overall lead in the World Cup and now have 2 weeks off to prepare for the next round in Mont Ste Anne in Canada.