Epic. Fantastic. Heartbreaking. Inspiring. Cool.
That pretty much summarizes the trip to Austria to compete in the Masters Worlds. Having gotten my feet wet last year, I came back this year to win the Masters World Championship. It was the race that I'd thought about all year. The race that motivated me when I sat on my trainer in the basement all winter long. Every other race this year was preparation.
I was competing in three races, the World Cup, the World Championship, and an "elite" race to finish out the week. I'd learned my lesson last time and decided to forgo the stress of trying to do the time trial too.
So the results...
2nd at the Master's World Cup race, 3rd at the Master's World Championship, and 1st at the elite race.
I was thrilled overall, but have to admit that I was disappointed with the Championship race. It's hard to come that close and know that something was within your grasp, but you just didn't do what you needed to do. I've replayed the finish a million times thinking of all the things that I could've done differently.
And the damn advice that I was given at the beginning of the season kept coming back to haunt me..."the little things are what will make the difference when you're sprinting against someone who is just as strong or stronger than you are." I screwed the finish up royally.
After that I figured that I'd just race the elite race and see what happened...wouldn't you know that the sprint finally came together and I got the win.
That was the racing part. The rest of the trip is what's its really about. I can't do the experience justice though so hopefully the pics will...
Downtown St. Johann in Tirol
The top of the climb on the road race course where hundreds of fans hang out, yell, and get drunk. Seeing a pack of 80 year old+ riders digging deep and getting over this thing is one of the most inspiring things you'll ever see.
World Cup Prize = Giant beer.
Me = a drunk bridesmaid.
On the podium with Michella Gorini (Italy) and Sarah Storey (Great Britain) for the Master's World Championship ceremony. That's me rocking a Sarah Palin updo.
Sarah Storey (left) was a gold medalist at the Paralympics in cycling and crushed the time trial at Worlds. At the elite race she gave me a world class leadout!
At the start before the last race...lots of chaos in the background. And the mountain that we'll soon be climbing.
The podium after the elite race next to Martina Ruzickova (CZE) and Jacqueline Hahn (AUT). They actually had to stage this cause I missed the real ceremony... we had gotten bad information about the ceremony running late and had returned to the hotel. Oops!
My first international win! I'm keeping this.
The photographer finally has the camera turned on him.
One final random comment...they drug test at this race. The woman who won the 30-40 year olds race last year ended up getting disqualified because she failed. The penalty is a 2 year ban from the UCI. Supposedly, out of 20 athletes tested last year, three were positives! That's outrageous! I hope they start publishing the names of every athlete that fails. Dopers suck.