Gabby Day - Photo Courtesy of TheChainStay
by Gabby Day
Today is a recovery day as I have had a tough weekend of racing. On Sunday was the Zonhoven Superprestige race, and on Monday was the GVA Koppenberg cross.
I prepared myself well leading up to these two races and felt ready to give it my best and produce some better results than my previous two races.
In the week after a disappointing performance in the Plzen World Cup, I went for a blood test to make sure everything was as it should be. I always keep an eye on my iron levels after struggling with anemia last year. The results showed that my iron reserves are too low and that my Vitamin D level is also low. This explains some of my performances, but I am not one to make excuses for bad races and don’t wish to either, but it does help me to understand my results better.
Zonhoven was my first breakthrough where I actually started to feel the race as I should. I got a better start and lost a few places but maintained 10th position, so I came away from this race more positive and looking forward to the challenge of the Koppenberg.
Monday was a VERY local race for me because it was in my current home town of Oudenaarde, Belgium, so I had a nice 10-minute journey to the race venue. I had quite forgotten just how big and popular this race is; already by the time I had arrived there were thousands of people. I only pre-rode one lap as the track was so muddy that after only a quarter of a lap the bike was already clogged up with mud – meaning the wheels were not turning round very well, and it was a big effort to ride. I was happy with the circuit, however, and ready to race.
Unfortunately I made a very bad decision to put my bike in the top pit. On reflection, it should definitely have been in the bottom pit for maximum advantage, as it meant I would have had a cleaner bike for longer and not had such a heavy weight to drag up the Koppenberg. Every lap it would also have made the uphill section to the top pit easier. So I had a lot of running. It was very frustrating for me, I had the right feeling in my legs and mentally felt prepared and in the race zone, but I feel a bad decision cost me.
I had a great two laps and was in sixth position on the first lap, and only lost two places on the second lap, and I was confident of maintaining it. However, the mud got the better of my bike and me. If I had three bikes that would have been really great, but it’s not often the conditions are that bad. So that is the end of my short race report, I don’t want to dwell on it as I was very angry after the race, as I feel I could have done much better results-wise.
On another note, a big congrats to Helen Wyman who won Koppenberg – it’s her first big win, so I’m very happy for her.
I have had two iron shots now, so I’ll start to feel better, and this will definitely help my racing. I will keep taking iron everyday to maintain, and this side of my health should now be good.
I am looking positively towards the European Championships this weekend in Frankfurt!