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First race of the season - Rochester CX
The first race is always a bit nerve racking. What makes it stressful is the unknown. How fast will everyone be going? Who will come out swinging this year? I feel good in training, but how will that compare to everyone else? But these unknowns are also what make it so exciting to be back racing.
In Rochester, I’ve always had good races. I came close to the win many times, but always came up short. In 2015 I had my first podium in a C1 category race. In 2016, I was battling for the win, until I passed out on the finish line due to heat exhaustion…waking up in the ambulance to find out I ended up in 4th place. In 2017, on day 2, I was leading with less than half a lap to go until I dropped my chain, to finish 2nd. I finished 2nd on both days.
This year was especially exciting for me, because it was my first outing with the new equipment and under theCX Fever p/b Specializedteam. I had to work hard to contain my excitement and keep calm…my teammates on my previous team used to call me “Energizer Bunny” because I was so excited before cyclocross races. Needless to say, staying calm was no small task; it was an inner battle in my head.
Basically the whole race went like this:
Typical me:“Is Ellen bringin me back?!”
Calm me:“Focus on yourself Magh. This turn, then the next…”
Typical me:“OMG still 4 laps to go, will I make it?!”
Calm me:“One by one Maghs. You like doing laps. Relax and do it like in training.”
Typical me:“OMG, could I win again today?!”
Calm me:“Don’t think about it Maghs, just ride.”
Typical me:Tatatatatatat “Ho, my sticker is really flapping. I wonder if it will hold on until the end”.
Calm me:“Whatever Maghs. Just keep riding.”
Typical me:“Ok Magh, don’t mess up that section.”
Calm me:“Don’t think about that. Put your weight back, let go of the break, just execute.”
When I could finally see the finish line, I finally allowed my typical self to think: “Phew, you made it! YAYYY!”
After 4 years of trying, I manage to keep my calm and it paid off as I was finally able to bring it home for the win. After a good battle with Ellen Noble on Day 1, I attacked with 2,5 laps to go and kept it steady to win my first UCI C1 race! I was more than happy to repeat the feat on day 2!
This is great momentum to start the season. It gives me confidence that the training we’ve done is paying off and that we are on the right path. It was also good to test the new equipment and start to feel as one with the bike.
Now, we have to keep working well, because some bigger challenges are coming up shortly with the World Cups in less than 2 weeks!
I already can’t wait.