The elite women started the 8 lap-130km race at14h30, after the U23 men. We were the lucky ones. We had watched the men race the course clad in armwarmers and some even with legwarmers, but the afternoon sun brought comfortable racing temperature for us.
Thousands of spectators lined the course as we were called on the stage to sign-in in front of bright flashes and rolling cameras. The big moment that I had been aiming to ''peak'' for during the last couple of weeks was about to arrive. The days and hours leading up to the race had seemed to drag on. 12 days earlier, I had learned I would be part of the team representing Canada. I had done all I could to prepare for the moment...
I worked with some other ''survivors'' and got back to the main group. Coming up to the 5th lap my legs didn't co-operate in the Cauberg. They didn't have the punch they needed, that I wanted, and that I've known on better days. I felt a bit like my toy robot Alfie when he was running out of batteries...I still worked, but I was a little sluggish. Hey, it happens. It's not so great on the day of the World Championships though.
I finished the race, working together with Miriam Bjørnsrud from Norway. We got time cut. Let's be honest, when you're off the back, it doesn't matter what your time is. It's not a Gran-Fondo, it's not a pay $50 dollars and ''Come-and-do-our-Challenge'' event, even though those are great. We finished because we felt like it, because it's a super opportunity to get to go to Worlds and represent our nations, and it feels great to be cheered on by the spectators. It's not what I was aiming for, but it's okay.
The season is done and I'm lucky to have made some new Swiss friends who were kind enough to bring me to Switzerland where I'll visit with my Dad and explore the area around St. Gallen for a few days before heading back to Canada. This has been a long season, with lots of ups and downs, and a season that I wouldn't have given up for practically anything.
Thank you to Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies, all of our sponsors, Cycling Canada, Conseil du Sport de Haut Niveau de Québec, my coach Pascal Choquette, and the Canadian company, Nuheat for your support this year.
I have a bit of time off, and then I'll be starting to gear up for 2013. I've learned a lot this year, accumulated a lot more experience and know-how, and am totally pumped to make 2013 even greater. Let's see what we can do...! :) :) :)