This weekend I competed in the World Cup held in Feldberg, Germany. It’s the first time there’s ever been a World Cup there so it was quite exciting.
We had a training day on the course on Thursday, this was interesting in itself as due to lack of snow the course was incredibly short. The only course I’ve ever seen at a competition which was shorter was the one inside the snow dome in Milton Keynes! It was 30 seconds long and only had one turn but was officially termed the SBX World Cup sprint event.
On Friday we had qualifications for the first competition with the top 24 women going through to heats. I made a small mistake on my first qualification run, normally this wouldn’t have made much difference but with the course being so short here it did. This meant I didn’t qualify through in the top 12 on the first run and did a second run where I qualified in 17th place.
On Saturday they ran the heats for the first comp and I was looking forward to racing. A storm came in overnight so visibility was very low making the first jump interesting to say the least! In every heat there was at least one person out of control or even completely falling on the first jump! I pulled out of the gate with the others in my heat and I rode well over the first few features gaining speed against the others. I rode the first jump well and was in control in the air, unfortunately the girl beside me was not! She had taken off with too much weight on her heels so came towards me in the air, I landed and turned to the left straight away to avoid crashing into her on my landing. This worked and I avoided her, unfortunately this cost me some speed in the process as well. I had to finish in the top 3 to get through to the next round and was now in 4th. I closed down the gap between myself and the girl in 3rd but couldn’t quite get passed before we crossed the finish line so I got knocked out of the competition. My final finishing place was 14th.
Late on Saturday afternoon they had a live bib draw. This is where the top 16 ranked girls and top 16 men get randomly assigned bib numbers for the race the next day. At the bib draw in Feldberg for the girls they had 8 local kids with bibs up the sleeves of their jackets, each girl went up in turn and picked the right of left arm of one of the kids. I picked the right arm of one of the smallest kids who had a cute hat and pulled out bib number 7, I was pleased with this as it’s close to the start but not too close, perfect.
So we then had the second competition which all ran on Sunday. The final results of this competition are actually still in dispute due to several official protests, which have been raised from various countries including Great Britain who have protested on my behalf.
We had an early start on Sunday morning to allow the qualifications and heats to all be ran on the one day. This meant we got to enjoy a beautiful sun rise from the top of the course in the morning!
There was (and still is) some confusion and debate over what happened during the qualifications. As I understood it at the time after the first qualification run I had finished in the top 12 and so qualified straight through to the heats in the afternoon. BUT when the list came out showing who was in which heat I was shown as qualifying in 17th. Because of this I had to race in a heat against better girls and with worse lane choice than I should have had. This was pretty annoying at the time obviously but I used sport psychologist techniques to focus my thoughts ready for my heat.
Unfortunately I didn’t get through my first heat so was then knocked out of the competition. I currently have a finishing place of 17th but the results are unofficial at this point as they are still in dispute, I’m waiting to see what my official finish position will be.
After the race my team and I travelled back to our base in Zell am Ziller, Austria where we have a few days training before the next competition which is a European Cup back in Germany at a place called Grasgehren next weekend.