Gabby Day talks about her double race weekend with the GVA Essen, and Namur World Cup which featured real ‘cross weather. She also talks about putting on a brave face after last year’s crash. Her diary was originally published on her personal website.
Today I am feeling really rather tired after a very tough racing weekend. After months of dry fast ‘cross racing things have changed and Belgium has decided to remind us of what real ‘cross weather should be. It has rained hard nearly everyday and even snowed. Which inevitably meant that this weekends races were proper muddy and seriously tough.
Saturday was GVA Essen, it was the first time that there has been a women’s race at this event so I was looking forward to racing on a new circuit and hitting some mud. The course was a total mud-fest and required power and strength. I only needed to pre ride one lap as it was physically draining and not super technical. I was called up on the front row so was ready to get a good fast start…this did not happen I got chopped on the start and nearly taken into the barriers so I had to back off and so ended up hitting the first off road section near the back of the field. That made me a little angry and some good racing aggression kicked in. I moved straight up to the front and rode the first lap with Marianne Vos and Sophie De Boer I was feeling pretty strong in the mud and my challenge Limus tyres were handling the mud and corners well which gave me good confidence. Unfortunately I had a few slips and slides on the next lap and lost contention with the front. I crossed the line in a content 7th, knowing I had conserved some energy ready for sundays world cup.
Namur World Cup definately has to be one of the hardest ‘cross races on the circuit it is seriously tough. I would describe it as a mini mountain bike course. Lots of elevation with steep descents, tricky off camber and long steep run ups. Add mud to the equation and you have a very tricky and demanding course. I really was rather apprehensive about racing this circuit as last year I had a very nasty crash on the main steep descent and ended my race being taken to hospital. So I had to be very brave and face my demons!
I took to the start feeling fairly confident knowing that I would just ride hard and be confident in my ability and whatever happens I will have tried my very best. As we lined up on the start line it started to snow very hard. It was to be a proper epic race! I started great and came through the pits well in the top 10 feeling strong. I rode the ‘scary crash’ descent and was comfortably holding top 15 placing. Unfortunately on the third lap I had a mechanical problem which meant I lost time and places…frustrating but that is racing and sometimes luck is not on your side. I battled to 18th place. Which is a average result but at least better than last year.
I would like to Thank all the great people that helped me over the weekend…Gregg, Luc and Stephen you were a great team.
I now have a very busy schedule over the christmas period racing every other day so keep checking for more race reports.
Renner CX Note: So overall a successful weekend for Gabby despite a minor mechanical issue and some year old demons in Namur. Here’s a great shot of her in Namur by Kristof Ramon! Oh and how about this shot of the start of the women’s race.
Keep an eye out for Gabby over the next long week as there are sure to be some more great results by her over the ‘crossmas period! Next up Super Prestige Diegem; a night race for the men, with a 3pm start for the elite women’s field.