I just finished the Sprints at the first World Cup of the season! It feels more like the World Championships, because everyone is here! I think it will be like this for all four World Cups this season, being that everyone wants a shot at being top 9 in the World to qualify for Olympics.
I qualified 8th position with 11.41. I was really happy with that, especially since I did 11.70 last year. That put me right in the thick of things :) The cut off time to make top 16 was 11.5, so everyone was on really good form. My 1/8th final was against a Chinese rider, who also ran 11.4. I took control from the front and kept her on my hip and won! Then I was up against no. 1 seed Willy Kanis (Nederlands). She rode a blazing 11.16! The first ride was excellent and she couldn’t get by, so I took the win! The second ride, Willy and I went head to head through 3 and 4 and she got me at the line. Then, the third ride, I tried to correct any mistakes in the second ride and she really just had more speed than me. They were three really tough rides and I was a bit gased at the end :P But luckily, we had a bit of time to get some sugar in before the 5-8th ride.
The 5-8th ride seemed more like a final. It was myself, Clara Sanchez (former World Champ), Simona (fast Lithuanian), and Victoria Pendleton (current world champ!). I drew no. 1 position. It was definitely a fight for the front, since it is hard to pass on this track. Victoria tried to overtake me, but I fought to keep the front. I held everyone off except Clara Sanchez, which put me 6th! It was a great start to the season and I will build on this for Beijing in a week.
Off to the track to watch some bike racing. We have lots of Americans out there tonight!
I will try and post some pics later.