Last weekend was by far one of the most successful World Cups of my career! Going into it, I didn’t think I’d do a personal best 200m (11.41) on this track and come away with two medals! My form just seems to be getting better and better as the season unfolds.
I qualified 4th in the 200m, which set me up pretty good for the sprint tournament. I won the first round, which guaranteed me top 8. Then I went against the Russian Svetlana Grankovskya in the 1/4’s and won. I felt like my speed was good and usually the tactics are the easier part for me, so I had confidence that if I did what I needed to, things would turn out great. I was super excited to break into the top 4, since I haven’t been in the top four since 2006. I met Clara Sanchez from France. We know each other fairly well from the Keirin, but I haven’t gone up against her much in the sprint. The first ride, I rode from behind and came at her a bit too late and came up short at the line. The second ride, I drew 1st position and kept it. It was super close, going to a photo! I actually thought Clara got it and it was over for me, but then I saw the asterisk next to my name! In the third ride, I took the front and she couldn’t get around me. I was then into the Gold Medal round! I had to face Natalia Tsylnskya from Belarus. She is the World Champion 7 times for a reason and a tough girl to race. She can go long, without fading in a sprint and doesn’t mess around too much before the sprint. Tactically, I thought my rides were good, but she had more speed than me. I was very happy with my Silver Medal! I started working since Nationals to improve my Sprint, since the Keirin isn’t in the Olympics and wasn’t sure how much my level could come up. I started working with Andy Sparks and he has been the primary reason that I have improved. We went back to some fundamentals and it has made a huge difference in my racing. He also exudes incredible passion and when you go to the line with someone that believes in you and cares about the racing as much as you do, it’s amazing what you can do.
Oh yeah, and the Keirin on Sunday was icing on the cake!!!! I felt really good from the minute I warmed up through to the Final. It was one of those days where you get done with every effort and just feel like it was effortless. I don’t have many days like that, so I was really enjoying it! It was awesome to be in front of a home crowd also. I felt like I had so many people cheering me on and there was great energy in the track. It was soo excited to have won, but I didn’t know that Anna Meares had gone down on the last lap until I came around on my victory lap. I was really concerned and it seemed like it was serious. It is serious, but she is doing well I hear and is in good spirits considering what has happened. She is great competitor and a really great person.
I’ve started training for Copenhagen; the final WC of the season before the Worlds. I will post an update when I get there.
Thanks for reading!