race report: WORS #6 Chippewa Valley Firecracker

Dave and I have been planning to move to Asheville, North Carolina for a while now and we had hoped to do so after the cyclocross season.  However it came up a couple of weeks ago that the move may happen as early as August, when our lease is up.  This is very exciting but it has put a tremendous amount of stress on us.  Instead of training regularly I have been pulling some pretty long work days at both of my jobs, lucky if I can squeeze in a ride every week.

That being said, I came into the WORS race at Eau Claire this weekend rested for the first time this season.  To prepare for some big races I trained through the first few local events.  I have the U.S. Mountain Bike National Championships this upcoming weekend, so it has worked out pretty well to taper a bit (though I had no choice with my schedule).

Lining up at the start, I was not sure if Eau Claire will be my last WORS race for a while, but in case it is, I wanted to make sure that I finished my season there with no regrets.  I put all of my thoughts aside and just rode like I knew I am capable of.

photo: Amy Dykema

I was looking forward to the very long lead out to make some separations, had a great start and led the entire way up to the singletrack.  Abby came around and we caught the back end of the men’s field at the rocky drop-off.  From there I rode in second place the entire race and ended up with my best WORS result ever!  It would have been nice to contest the win, but Abby is having a stellar season and I was more than satisfied with my race.  I had a minor slip on some gravel/asphalt on an awkward turn (it is really unfortunate to get road rash in a mountain bike race!) but otherwise rode very well.  I drilled it on the open sections and short climbs, and recovered as I floated through the singletrack.

The course was smooth, flowy, fast, just so much fun; the new berms are awesome, and will only get better!  More people encouraged me than ever before and it helped SO much to get the support.

photo: Brittany Nigh

Yesterday was sort of a breakthrough race for me mentally.  I didn’t think twice about features that terrified me two seasons ago and my motivation was very high the entire time.  I gained confidence and never once felt discouraged.  It is nerdy but during the race I actually kept thinking of the exciting stage in the Tour yesterday, the first big day in the Alps.  I was pretty excited about the result and that kept me going.  whatever works, right?

I knew Dave would do well on this course and he pulled out a third place in the open singlespeed race on nothing but one bottle of water (not by choice)!

Anyway I am getting excited to spend the weekend in Colorado for my first Pro Nationals and see my team and some good friends.  I do not know what will happen with my race schedule, but I am definitely focusing on Chequamegon and a good UCI cyclo-cross season, building to Cross Nationals.

I am really thankful that I’ve been able to race with the ladies in WORS and be part of such an amazing series.  I am sad to leave Wisconsin, but am looking forward to a bright future ahead.  Hopefully we will be back this season!

Thank you so much to Mafia Racing and my sponsors, Don, Claire (who has done an exceptional job with race reports and media), and everyone I’ve met through racing!

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