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Friday, July 29, 2011

Pano 2011

We're one week in here at Panorama and only have a few more days to go.  Last weekend was the Canadian National Championships which is a pretty important race for a lot of people.  I don't know if it's because Crankworx was going on at the same time or because getting to Pano involves a fair amount of travel for most people, but there were considerably less racers this year than there were last year.  Their loss though - the course here is fast, loose, and super fun. 

The weather started out a bit on the iffy side with some chilly temps, rain and even some hail but has since improved considerably and is now what I would call perfect biking weather - warm but not hot, scattered clouds, slight breeze, and the odd sprinkle to keep the dust down.  I went into last weekend's race feeling ready to do well but at the same time with not too much pressure on myself.  Last year I had a great seeding run but then crashed in my race run and finished 8th... I was very disappointed.  So this year I figured - all I have to do is relax, have a clean run, and improve on my result from last year.  I felt good mentally in the start gate, focussed and with very little anxiety.  The first few corners felt smooth but once I got into the first wooded section I realized that perhaps my body wasn't quite as relaxed as my mind was.  I knew my lines but seemed to be just a little off, and so instead of focussing on what was coming up I was constantly telling myself to relax, trying to get back on my line and "back in the game".  It's hard not to get frustrated with yourself when you know you're not having a good run when it means the most, but usually as long as you keep your head up it just translates to a bad run and nothing more.  Unfortunately I got caught up in a root and ended up going over the bars down a hill, having to scramble up to get my bike, then stop again at the bottom of the hill to adjust my brake lever.  Well, there goes that.  I made it to the bottom, again disappointed but at least not injured, and ended up finishing 7th.  Not how I visualized it but it could've been worse...

Lakeside. Aaaahh...

Flowers.  Aaaahh....

Midweek here has been great - we've had some relaxing times mixed in with some great park riding.  Other than racing, this is my first park riding of the year!  Crazy.  The course this weekend looks like it's a brand new top section, the same middle section as Nationals, and the same bottom section as last year's Canada Cup race.  I think it's going to be another fast one and judging by the weather forcast, very very dusty.  We'll get our first taste of it this afternoon, another full day of practice tomorrow, then seeding Sunday morning followed immediately by our race run (which I think is wierd but that's the way it is).  I'm looking forward to getting aggressive on the course, going fast and having FUN!  
Walking the Canada Cup course

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