My incredible journey began on April 22nd, when I arrived in Stuttgart, Germany. I spent the day there with some great friends that have given me so much help and support throughout my racing. I enjoyed my jet-lag filled day with some great food and some wandering in the beautiful area.
The next morning I enjoyed a perfect European breakfast and made my way to the airport to meet up with the rest of the USAcycling junior team. This group includes some of my favorite racers in the world. Together we drove through the alps and arrived at our beautiful destination in Oetz, Austria.
I had been looking forward to these two weeks of traveling to race with USAcycling, in Germany and Austria, and finally the trip had arrived. The views and riding were absolutely incredible and excitement was growing for the approaching race. After pre-riding the course I realized that this is probably the most technical and steepest course I have ever ridden. Although it was such a challenging course, I was feeling very smooth and confident on the trail.
Race day finally came, but we spent the day waiting for our afternoon race. Being the first onto the start line, with about 40 girls, I was feeling stoked and more than ready to race.
The whistle blew and we launched off the line in a fast pace. We went around a short start loop on pavement and I found myself with in the top 10. When we reached the first A line the riders speed lowered dramatically, causing me and many others to run down the technical descent. I was still holding a good position among all the riders and lowered my speed to pace myself for the four laps. Riders began to pass me left and right and I soon found that my legs had no interest in moving any faster. I felt this for the rest of the laps, fast and smooth on the descents, but slow and painful climbing. On the third lap my mind was blurry and unfocused, my flow on the descents was no longer with me. I crashed pretty hard at the end of the first A line on this lap and spent the rest of that lap trying to find a positive mindset, but my legs still weren't moving in the way I had hoped. Going into the fourth and final lap I found more flow and positivity. I was still struggling a lot throughout the lap, but I focused on finishing the race.
Although this wasn’t the exciting race that I had been hoping for in Europe, I learned more about racing and myself than in any other race. I look forward to the race in Germany next week, no matter what happens, and am excited for some great riding in this beautiful area until then.
A huge thanks this awesome USA juniors team, USAcycling, Dario Fredrick, my supporters, and all of our sponsors for making this season one of a kind.
Can't wait for all of the adventures to come!