by Maghalie Rochette
Last week, I was little bit mad at myself. At the C1 race in Jingle Cross, the day after the World Cup, I got second to Katerina Nash. However, I was a bit unhappy with myself because I did not offer much resistance when she attacked me for the win with 2 laps to go. My tank of will power had been a bit drained the day before at the World Cup, and I found myself being okay with finishing 2nd, instead of really fighting for that win...I wasn't proud of myself for that, but that's what happened, so I needed to admit it to myself in order to grow from it.
This week, however, as we drove from a Holiday Inn to the next, making our way from Iowa to Baltimore, I cranked myself up to really want that win. I needed to make sure I wanted it bad enough. And it worked...I really wanted to win. I knew it would not be easy as a lot of strong women would be lining up against me.
When we woke up on race day, the ground was wet and the early races ended up being super slick. My strategy was to start hard and try to lead to see how the others girls responded. It worked, and Ellen and I got a gap early on. We rode together for most of the race, with me leading most of it. I thought I preferred being in front to dictate the pace. She attacked me once and got a gap. I dug deep and closed it, attacking her as I made connection. She came back, and we rode together until she made a huge attack on me with half a lap to go. I tried to close it, but she had the best of me!
In the end, I was much happier with that second place than with the other second place at Jingle. Ellen was just better that day, but I gave it all I had! Looking back, maybe I should have let her lead a bit more, but at least I tried something and now I learned for next time...
I really enjoy the racing we have in North America this season. With Kaitie Keough, Ellen Noble, Katerina Nash, and many others being amongst the best in the World, we always have great battles at the domestic races. The best part is that it's not always the same one winning, which means we always push each other to get better, and depending on the day, a different one ends up on top. I think this is really cool. You always have to bring your A game to compete with those girls, and I love that!
I decided not to race on Day 2, as I've recently made the last minute decision to go to Switzerland for the 3rd round of the World Cup. We had 10 hours to drive home, so leaving early allowed us to spend 1 more day at home....which doesn't sound much, but I assure you it makes a different! Plus, it turns out I woke up with some type of food poisoning that morning, so it ended up being a good thing that I wasn't racing!
We are finally back home and will reset for a few days before cranking up the training again!
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