After stringing a better block of training together and digging myself out of a bit of a training / racing rut I had shovelled into, it was off to Espagna for the Alicante World Cup. I always love racing in Spain, and the Spanish love us racing there. Another superb little corner of the world, crossed tourism and beaches, a magnificent sailing boat stationed outside my hotel window, and the best frozen yoghurt joint I've ever seen! (possibly well up on my highlights list!)
As the season was winding down, and race day doubling up on the French Grand Prix circuit, there was a really relaxed and chilled atmosphere about the race this time, or maybe that's because there were hardly any coaches around ? haha I don't know, but either way the field still ended up pretty stacked! Fresh out of London worlds there were many finely tuned athletes toeing the line!
A salty swim in the harbour followed by a very unchallenging bike course, unfortunately highlighted social loafing at its best. A lead pack of around 8, gained a massive amount of time on my chase pack of about 30, on a flat windy course just shouldn't have happened...but it did, and to stay out front to try and drive it was race suicide on that course, without a bunch willing to work together. After losing massive time and hoping into T2 2.30 down, it would take some scorching runs to get back in the game, and with the likes of Jodie Stimpson up front, who just finished the season second in the world, ..well wasn't going to happen all that easily!
T2 - That's where my race posed some problems, in many ways. Time being of the essence, I guess I had a mind blank, and switched into hunting mode, and forgetting all about checking my helmet was in the box, which set me up for a 15 sec penalty to take later, which I was unawares of until I saw my lone "12" up on the naughty board. :(
This however was not my real problem, after throwing on my Brooks St Racers, I was met straight away with a horrible pain under my foot, feeling like a had a beehive hanging under my toes, I knew something was not good down there. Anyway, biting my tongue and putting on poker face, I managed to block it out enough and focus on my race. Moving well on the run we moved up the field. We being myself and Ainhoa Murua, the local Spanish gun, who I was trying to shake off my heels, but she hung super tough and I couldn't get rid of her with the local crowd urging her on. My next drama was deciding when to take my penalty, as we were chowing down on the front pack I opted to leave my penalty til just before the finish. After running myself into fourth I was pushing to get a gap on Ainhoa before the finish straight, to take my penalty (15 sec can seem an eternity!) and sprint back on in time, but she is a fierce competitor, and I couldn't get enough time into her to get back on before the tape :( the cost was to be relegated back to 6th.
Unfortunately I had some bigger issues to address now, that sore beehive foot. Post race examination, it did not look pretty. Swollen and bruised, and unable to walk, I had a sinking feeling I had just lost a battle with lingering foot injuries. Unfortunately MRI's confirmed a broken foot, and so that was end of season, done and dusted right there.
So back to France it was pack up time, and back on the next plane home unfortunately.
So here I am now, back in Aus, after a rather large and challenging rollercoaster of a season, stuck in a moon boot, but soaking up the Perth sunshine I love so much! Definitely feet up time now, and trying to enjoy the important things in life again.
See you soon 2014, il be back with unfinished business :)