DK Gold Cup Final / 7-8 September 2018 / Chula Vista, CA USA
Class: Elite Men
Result: Day 1: 8th Day 2: 6th
Class: Elite Women
Result: Day 1: 3rd Day 2: 3rd
Following the conclusion of our racing in Louisville last weekend, we flew to San Diego California, which was to be our base for the following 3 weeks as we prepared for the World Cup rounds in Argentina later this month.
Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Centre, which is a 30 minute drive from where we are staying, hosted the next round of the USABMX Pro Series as well, so we got settled in to our new home and prepared the racing on the weekend.
This race wasn’t held on an 8m start hill SX track, but rather on the normal USABMX track within the Training Centre facility. This track is where the majority of USA’s top riders train each week, so tough racing was expected against their home track advantage.
I was feeling great, but faced a bit of an issue on the track. The grip grate (where your wheels sit on the gate for traction) on the start gate was narrower than usual, with non-grip metal on either side. I normally line my bike up crooked on the gate, which meant that when I did my start, my back wheel was falling off the grate and onto the shiny metal, giving me no traction at all for my second pedal!
I had never faced this problem before, so it was all new to me – I ended up having to adjust my starting position quite significantly to ensure that I didn’t fall off the grate.
This is definitely something that I need to be able to adjust to in future, however I struggled to work with it, and my starts were consequently quite inconsistent throughout the weekend.
Racing was tight, but I managed the gate start situation quite well by riding smart (and fast) around the track, and I was able to make the final on both days. I ended with an 8th in day 1 after crashing in the second corner moving into 4th position, and a 6th in day 2 getting tangled up with Joris Daudet once again around the second corner.
I really am a perfectionist and very hard on myself when I don’t perform to my full capabilities, however I have to credit myself on doing as well as I did while battling my troubles with the gate. If anything, the weekend has given me great confidence in my ability to race: that I don’t have to be in front down the first straight to win laps and qualify through the day.
It’s going to be a very productive couple of weeks in San Diego. I’m looking forward to fixing up a couple of identified things from the past weekends and being 100% ready for the World Cup rounds at the end of the month!
The weekend after Louisville was back to the west coast to Chula Vista BMX track in San Diego.
I was really excited because I had been there before for training last year and it was home track to where we were going to be spending about 3 weeks.
I was hungry and determined to win but I wasn’t as confident, because this time it was on a flat track, meaning there was not a Supercross hill, and instead was a 2-3metre high start hill. For me, I had
more confidence in winning on a Supercross hill than not, as there is a lot more power involved on a flat track. But none of this stopped me from aiming for the top.
The Elite women had exactly 16 riders meaning it was straight to finals after the qualifying motos. The race field was tough, and you were always racing a fast rider. I finished 3rd, 3rd and 4th in the qualifying motos and I was 4th qualifier in the final. Lane 1, the inside lane was free so I took it which gave me a lot of confidence as I knew that I am strong out of the gate and I would have a clear run into the first corner.
My gate was okay and I was able to get out in front like I expected but the two girls on the outside was much faster so I tucked myself in 3rd around the corner. I kept my position and finished on the podium!
I was stoked to get on the podium, I was the 3rd fastest there so I definitely wasn’t going to settle for anything less than that.
Day 2, and I was aiming for another podium, or one step better. It was stinking hot, and I found it much more exhausting than the day before. I took it race by race and I got 3rd, 2nd, 1st and I was able to get lane 1 again for the final. The race panned out the same as day 1, I was in 3rd but this time I could tell Lauren Reynolds was right on my tail waiting to pass me. We were side by side down the last straight but I I had more speed. Another podium finish!
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