Over the long Labour Day weekend, Mitch and Soren traveled all the way to Norway for this year’s World Championships. After the long flight and some adjusting to the new time zone, it was course inspection time. Lap after lap, this new course proved to be a physical and mental challenge, and one that required exception skill. Tough climbs, tougher descents and no real place to rest and recover – this would be a battle to the end!
Soren’s first World Championships, and with no expectations other than “Try my best and have fun,” she was called up in 30th place with a great 2nd row start.
A great first few laps and digging deep, Soren was working her way up the field and feeling strong, until bad luck caught her. After making a pass and opting for the A-Line, her front wheel got stuck in a rock that sent her flying over the bars onto the roots and rocks.
As all great racers do, her first thought was to get back on her bike and make up any lost time, and then assess damage to the bike and body. Her body was bruised and she felt some pain in her wrist, and her Superfly wasn’t shifting so well any more. Riding to get to the pits sent her chain into her spokes, forcing her to get off to yank it out. After re-mounting, another hill saw the chain return to it’s jammed position, this time for good. Choices: DNF or run…. so she ran!!
After several sections of carrying her bike because the chain wouldn’t let the wheel spin, she finally made it to the pits where the Team Canada mechanics were able to get it running again. Back in the saddle, Soren fought her way back towards the front again, coming across the finish line in 28th spot – not too bad considering what she had to overcome!
So one purple cast, two tired legs and many lessons learned, Soren is back home for some much deserved rest and recovery.
Mitch has attended the World Champions several times, and was hoping to overcome the bad luck from last year (he was struck by a car during his warm up ride suffering minor injuries and a broken bike.) A good call up position and a member of a strong Canadian U23 team that included 4 other Canadians, Mitch was off the line strong and fighting his way up the dusty road.
Mitch has a great way of riding consistent laps and keeping the pressure on, so he worked his way up to 17th position half way through the race. The rough course then made it’s first attack on Mitch, flatting his tire and forcing him to also visit the Pit Zone.
It’s always hard to re-motivate yourself after an unplanned stop, but Mitch is a fighter and returned to a state of “Full Gas.” He continued to work his way back towards the middle of the pack until he also had a significant crash.
It took a while to get his legs back under him, but Mitch was able to hang on and come across the line in 31st position – an improvement from last year but not an ideal end to his U23 career.
With the 2014 season behind them, it’s time for these 2 youngsters to get back to school before preparing to do it all over again!!