As I mentioned in my last post, after the October training camp, I did not make the team for the Cali World Cup. I took 10 days off, thinking I didn't have a race opportunity until maybe January, but then got invited to the New Zealand World Cup. I quickly planed a trip to LA for some training and Giddeon Massie was of a huge help with motorpacing all week. I felt about as well prepared as I could have.
I was excited to travel to New Zealand! We had a great setup staying in college. This is definitely the first track world cup I've been to, when we got to do so much riding outside. That was great! Being on the rollers for: morning rollers, evening rollers, roller warm-up, and roller cooldown can get a bit mind-numbing by week-end, so this was a great treat!
Ruth, Kelly, Jen, Lauren, Jen and myself would be racing this round. The track in Auckland was awesome!
There we are for warmup. It can get hectic sometimes, but just follow the wheel in front of you!
So, how did the racing go? In the end, we finished 4th. But, on a personal level... I was highly disappointed with myself. There really is no other way to say it other than I rode awful and executed terribly. Any way you look at it - lap times, power numbers, exchanges... all crap. I have ridden much better in practice, but practice is not racing, and there is no other way to say it, but that I choked.
Having a bad race is disappointing. Having a bad race that will make or break whether you have a shot at making the Olympic team, well, that is highly disappointing. But even if I performed to the very best of my physical abilities, would I have been good enough to make the Olympic team? No. My teammates are amazing athletes and even on my very best day as a team pursuiter, I was the weakest team member.
Going into the New Zealand World Cup, I knew that making the team pursuit squad for the Olympics was a longshot at best, but I wanted to have my very best race possible. This was likely going to be my last big track race ever, and I wanted to end on a performance I could be proud of. And, I think that is what is the most disappointing part of this race.... Not making the Olympic team, yes, that is disappointing, obviously. But I can say that I trained my hardest and did what I could, and in the end my other teammates were faster. But, it is perhaps equally disappointing to put in all the time, work, make so many improvements on personal level, and then, come race day, have none of that show and to put out a terrible performance.... with that being my last race opportunity. I had hoped to, at the very least, end with something I could be proud of... and that didn't happen at all.
Of course, I can look back at "the journey" and think about the good races and good memories I have had along the way. And I am sure in a few weeks, months, years, I will have a better perspective on things.