If you look ever so closely at the rear wheel in this awesome shot by Dave McElwaine, you will notice it looks a little flat. Really flat. As in "no air in there" flat. Not cool in the third lap of a race when you're sitting in 3rd and just settling in, feeing good, and amped to fight for another podium result. You will notice it's a clincher, not my usual tubbie, too. I pinched on a rock on the first fast gravel road section by the water. Rode it to the pit, but very gingerly, as it was my good road race wheel and I can't afford a replacement if I wreck it - it needs to last me through the summer! (That front wheel has lasted 2 road and 3 cross seasons!) I fell back to 14th or 15th place, but got my pit bike for 1/2 a lap, then luckily Mavic was there to throw a spare wheel on and I got back on my Supercross. (Thanks Matt Roy for your pit help!)
The hunt was on. I picked off riders, got some help from my Ridley teammate Rebecca Much to chase down a group in the wind, and then brought myself back into 8th, only :55 back from the podium. If I had another lap or two, I think I might have caught another couple of riders. I was certainly disappointed, but I still got to put in a hard effort for a second day in a row. If only I could have pulled a Tim Johnson and gone from 35th to 2nd after a flat! But if I even had that depth and ability in me, I'd need more than the few laps I had left to do it.
Awesome job Anna and Natasha for riding an excellent race. And congrats to Anna for pulling it all together to recover from yesterday and get a great result!
Coming this weekend... Granogue, DE, and Wissahickon, PA. Granogue is held on the DuPont estate, and is one of the most challenging and demanding courses of the East Coast UCI calendar, imho. Without Lyne and Katie there, the field looks wide open - I'll be there ready to rock!