After a strong start to the season in Albstadt the week prior I was fully focused on another good showing at the second world cup round of the year in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic. I felt like I’d recovered fairly well from the races in Germany and the long travel day on Monday to Nove Mesto.
After a warm, dry start to the week things took a bit of a turn on Thursday with plenty of rain showing up to turn what was a fast-rolling track into a boggy, sodden mess. To be honest I’d never seen the track so muddy and completely destroyed in 10 years of racing in Nove Mesto. It was going to keep all the riders on their toes! Especially with the bark being stripped off the roots with every passing tyre.
They had made some changes for the short track race this year adding in a longer climb, some new single-track sections and utilizing the “Rock’n’roll” rock garden from the XCO course. The wet conditions made an already tough short track race particularly hazardous, but I had a great start and managed to settle into the lead group and stay mostly out of trouble, pushing home for 7th place.
On Sunday the rain stayed away but the damage had already been done. The course was severely waterlogged, and it wasn’t going to dry out enough in time to resemble anything close to what it normally does. I knew a good start would be essential to having a good result and I pushed hard on the start loop to hang in there.
I realised I was unable to match the pace of the top guys who were absolutely flying so I settled into my rhythm and rode smartly, focusing on riding clean lines and not making mistakes.
I was able to do that and finish strongly to cross the line in 8th place, proud of my performance and of my ability to back up my result from last weekend with some more strong performances in both the XCC and XCO.