2019 Mountain Bike World Championships, Mont Sainte Anne, Canada – 32nd.
Third time to MSA and I finally get to put a check-mark beside it. Being able to cap this season just shy of the top 30 (again), be clean and calm on all the major features, and ride away knowing next time I’ll be ready to race here in proper next time gives me a deep sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. It’s been a very steady year for me in terms of results and performance, with only a few blips, but a highly variable season as far as motivation and focus. I think transitioning from a conservative domestic race calendar to a full-European World Cup schedule was more disruptive than I expected, and took more to adjust to than I expected. Going forward into the cyclocross season, I already feel more prepared and equipped with experience to manage life and racing on the road.
The details of MSA – well, I have to admit that writing up this recap belatedly is mostly because I was so shot on interest and motivation to reflect on it after the fact. I was just content to call the season a good one and take a break. If you’ve watched the replay or have been there in person, you’ll have seen and heard how challenging this course is – and having now seen the European tracks, this is definitely the gnarliest.
Over the 22km we raced, I recorded 830m of vertical. Line to line I was 1:40:50 and had a Normalized Power of 255w (big ouuuufff), my highest in a World Cup race this season. It was so hard, but with my legs only feeling pretty medium and my focus on riding out the course, the race almost seemed to pass me by. So yes I’m happy, but I’m mostly relieved it’s done.
It’s strange how detached I already am from the season, as positive as it was, I can’t help but feel it was as much or more of a platform builder than a banner breakthrough year. There isn’t much I’m left with lingering thoughts about this season, so I think with some time away, it’ll be easier to come back and be ready to race in proper next year. Until then, here are a few photos from Worlds, and I’ll be running some updates as I race cyclocross this fall. The plaid will be on hiatus as I race with Easton-Giant p/b TLC this fall, but it should be back for a few fall mtb races ;)