We arrived at Val Di Sole on Tuesday and started to set up the race camp and prepare our bikes. The event started on Wednesday with trackwalk in the morning and an opening ceremony later that day.
Thursday was the first day of training and the track was really difficult at some places. This is a pure downhill track with roots, stones and dust, no hand built jumps and stuff like that. I had some struggle in the beginning of practice with remembering the track and which lines to take, but that I managed to improve for the next day. I began to get the hang of it and felt good on some sections. I started to split up the track in fewer stops and I could tell that this track was going to be physically hard on a full run. Saturday had a short training session in the morning and seeding run in the afternoon. I did two runs in the morning and felt prepared for my seeding run. I decided to take it very easy and rest at the flat sections so I could ride the technical parts with full focus and less arm pump. I still passed one guy that was starting in front of me, and almost passed another one when I jumped towards the finish area. I got a time of 4:20 and placed 79th. I felt like I had plenty of room for improvement and I also learned that there would be a bigger gap between the riders for the final which was a big relief since the startlist is the same for both seeding run and final run during World Champs.
I did the same procedure on Sunday before finals, two practice runs in the morning. I felt really stoked and was ready to give it my all. I did a proper warm up at the top before the start and got in to a good mindset. My strategy for the final was to leave nothing out, so I sprinted out of the gate. I came in to the second turn and started to slide and almost crashed. I got stressed and it did not get better in the first wood section where there were tons of people shouting and revving chainsaws. I started to make rookie mistakes and rode new weird line choices that almost made me crash. By the time I was approaching the goal area I had a massive arm pump and I knew this was not going to be a good time. I still improved my time by 3 seconds and climbed up to 70th place. My hopes were to improve my time a whole lot more than that. Afterwards I think it would have been better if I just chilled a little bit more to reduce the arm pump and focus more on the technical parts. But hey, at least I learned a lesson.
Overall it was a really good weekend and I am glad to say I came home free from injuries and one experience richer. Thank you once again Swecycling for giving me this opportunity and letting me race World Champs. This race was never really a part of my season plan, only the fact that I was invited to participate in such a big event was amazing for me. It’s always been a goal for me to attend World Champs as a senior and I’m really pleased to have achieved that goal. Hopefully I can keep up the good work and maybe even race World Champs again for the years to come.