Implementation of the UCI's new race rules has definitely changed the game. Shorter laps makes a fast start even more important to avoid getting pulled out by commissaires before the final lap. The steeper course favours the pure climbers and technical ability counts for nothing if you're stuck behind a muppet on the singletrack descent.
Only racing the last 2 world cups makes a good start difficult. Less UCI points means you start at the back and a year of racing enduros has done nothing for my speed over a 1km start loop. I managed to pick up 9 places early on and just when my endurance was kicking in it was over. The marshal steps in at the end of the 3rd lap, directs me off the course and my race is done.
Positives: I rode all the lines I'd planned to, cleared the obstacles and had a safe race.
Negatives: I need to get some raw speed back and that is not going to happen in a week.
All that aside I am pretty happy as I've only been on the PCS program for 8 weeks and I'm racing world cup - sweet! Wait until I've got 6 months worth in the legs!
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