I had spent a few weeks at altitude in Livigno, Italy in preparation for the 2 World Cups at altitude. Kicking off with Lenzerheide at 1,500m-1,600m before heading to Andorra to race a week later at 1,900m-2,000m. Lenzerheide is a nice, natural course with a huge number of roots and not too much climbing. Its layout and the altitude doesn’t favour me particularly well and it’s probably been the World Cup venue that I’ve struggled at the most during my career. A good short track result is very important here and I was eager to make it on the front row to make my life a bit easier in the XCO on Sunday.
Unfortunately, my short track race didn’t get off to the best start as my gears started skipping all over the place under power. It turned out that my chain had a stiff link in it, but I felt like I managed it pretty well and had worked my way back up into the top 10. Then the rider just in front of me got a puncture at an unfortunate time where I couldn’t get past with just over a lap to go. This dropped me off the back of the top 8 train, and in the end, I finished in 11th place. Not bad considering the mechanical issue but not the front row start for Sunday that I was after either
Luckily, I had a good start off the second row on Sunday and entered the first singletrack around 5th position. I fought hard to stay with the leaders on the first lap and probably overdid it a wee bit, suffering on laps 2 and 3 and falling back into 21st or 22nd position before rallying over the middle part of the race and coming home strong at the end to finish up a solid 12th.
Although I’d hoped for a little more, I was still happy enough with my ride and the fight shown to finish how I did. It was my best result in Lenzerheide in the elite field to date which gives me some confidence that the work I had done in preparation for it had paid off.