Well guys that’s it, stick a fork in me, I’m done. It’s been an awesome season and one with many highs, some lows and lots of exciting events keeping me on my toes. From winning, to mechanicals, with a whole new sponsorship launch mid-season; it’s definitely been one to remember.
Today’s Wyman Wednesday is my season review, like an Oscars of the ’cross season with a little self acclamation mixed in.
Personal Best Moment of the Season
For me, I had four goals this year and I achieved three of them. That’s not bad, but as Stef says, “Let’s not celebrate mediocrity.”
My one favourite moment of the season has to be winning Koppenberg. To some this might seem strange; it’s just a C1 race. But to me it’s epic, to Belgium fans it’s epic, to fellow competitors it’s epic. It’s just one of the cornerstones of Belgian ’cross and quite possibly my favourite race.
Last season I didn’t get to ride it, but in the daze that was the weeks following my European Champs crash and subsequent injuries, the day of Koppenberg is still very vivid. Stef had taken Amira Mellor to the race, and I had to wait in Belgium for the operation to pin my collarbone since November 1st is a public holiday and there would be no elective surgery.
Our friends James Spragg and Margriet Kloppenberg generously offered to babysit me and since “Café Spragg” makes the best cappuccino in Oudenaarde, it was a no-brainer. I remember sitting on their couch, maxed out on painkillers, watching Thalita De Jong and Jolien Verschueren battle it out to the finish. All I was thinking about was how would I fare in this race. Where would I attack, who would be able to follow, can you out sprint someone on the cobbled finish and how much I really, really, really wanted to win this next year.
Fast forward a year and I did.
This year the race was again two riders but this time it was Katie Compton and me fighting it out. She was faster on the descent, but I had the advantage on the very long drag up to the finish. It was an amazing race to be in as there was always something going on.
On the third or fourth lap I heard the commentator say Jolien was only five seconds down on us at the top of the hill, which actually spurred me to go even harder. All I could think was there was no way on earth that I could allow someone else to have the same amount of cobbles as me when I could actually do something about it.
Ultimately whatever drives you to win works, right? (palm to face emoji)
Standout Rider of the Season
It’s not all about me, well not all the time anyway. We should always share a little love for the sport as a whole and to me this season there has been quite a few standout performances in women’s ’cross. I mean you can’t review a season without mentioning Maud Kaptheijns’ dominance in October or Sanne Cant’s continuous winning streak, and then there’s that World Championship battle in quite possibly the toughest race of the season.
However, to me, the breakout rider who consistently has proven she is one to watch for the future at only 19 years of age is Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado of the Netherlands. She has had many podiums in elite races and regularly affects the race. Consistency is the key to a career in cyclocross, so her impressive performances at a young age make her someone to watch out for next year and down the road.
Standout Performance of the Season
This is definitely a tough category to call, there has been so many across another exciting season. I think it has to go to me getting the fastest lap at Zeven World Cup.
Just kidding, I think Evie Richards should take this award for her win in Namur World Cup. In only her third season of racing ’cross, she showed great poise and consistency across the whole course giving her the fastest laps of the race, every single lap.
Longest Time Spent in a Vehicle in One Month
This is a no-brainer. Without a shadow of a doubt, Stef takes this for driving the motorhome from Oudenaarde, Belgium to Tabor, Czech Republic to Elorrio, Spain to Bogense, Denmark to Hamme, Belgium, switching to the car and driving to Rennes Les Bains, France in 20 days.
With a grand total of about 8,000 km or 80 to 100 hours of driving, who says being a bike rider is environmentally friendly? I could try and work out the actual amount of fuel used, but to work out miles/km gallons/ liters conversions is hurting my brain and it’s the offseason, so I need to rest it!
Anyway, I’m off to enjoy some time at home. I’m glad everyone has enjoyed the women’s races this season, it’s been a lot of fun to race in them.
Thanks to all my sponsors for making this possible and I look forward to seeing you all next season.