Monday, February 2, 2009

2009 CX WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Hoogerheide, Netherlands, February 1.

I had been waiting all year to participate in the CX world championships again, so when the day finally arrived, I was ready. Thinking about everything that went into getting here, it was almost a relief to have the day arrive! I was almost giddy. The course was fast and dry, but still a lot of fun. There were 30,000 people there and it was complete chaos, as a CX race so close to the Belgian border ought to be. I had ridden to the course early with Laura Van Guilder and that proved to be a nice way to start the day. It was cold and windy, but it was good to spin the legs and arrive at the course on bike. I went and got my race bike and took a whirl around the course. It was even drier and more frozen with the below freezing temperatures. I changed clothes, got myself ready to get on the trainer, signed autographs, said hi to friends and fans and then put the music on and got my legs ready for the last 40 minutes of pain of the 08-09 CX season! It was going to be fun!
I took one lap to get to the start, the course lined with people 5 deep. I wiped out on a corner and got cheered on loudly as I picked myself up, laughing and embarrassed. I tucked my tail between my legs and carried on. I made it to the start and did the start laps with everyone else. It was almost game time. We got called up and in the grid, and then the green light went off and it was game on. Well almost, except I couldn't get myself into my left pedal. Click, click, click. I kept missing. Rookie move, for sure. And now I was dead last going up the hill, but as it turned out, there was a huge crash just around the corner, so I had luckily been far enough back to avoid it and bike around it and get right back into the race. I worked my way forward, one person at a time and soon there were very few people anywhere in sight. I rode most of the race alone. Towards the last few laps, there were two more spots to be had. I only managed one of them, getting outsprinted to the line. I ended the race having raced my heart out, going as hard as I could. I didn't crash and I avoided others that did. I finished 17th. I missed my goal, but I improved from last year. I will consider it a success. The season was over and now it was time to celebrate! Although we could never find the Portland contingent, Erik Weeman, Kris Schamp and his brother and friends (the newest Sue Butler Supporters) were ready to celebrate as well. We watched Niels Albert dominate the mens race and cheered on our U.S. men! It was an amazing day! Freezing cold, but the sun came out and made it a wonderful way to end the season!!! Thanks for reading and your support along the way! It has been an amazing ride.
One of River City Bicycles finest, Doug Moak, fixed my shifting on course on Saturday.
Thanks Doug.

Gotta represent!

The Portland crew. Never saw them again, but at least they came by and wished me luck!

Warming up.The crowds were amazing.

My supporters post race!

True Belgian fries with Belgian buddy, Kris Schamp.

The Dutch lion! He wasn't so scary!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

What an amazing way to finish off the season that you just rode.

Thank you for writing such a nice blog about the racing and experiences you have while you are out there kicking ass all over the world.

-Jonathan L

StevenCX said...

Congrats - great race! Way to represent!

Kyia said...

Great Job Sue!!! Enjoy a little down time!

Cass Perkins said...

Yeah Bulter!!!!Way to chase those bitches down!

Heidi Swift said...

Great job, Sue. Love the Cross Crusade sticker :)
It's been so fun following your season - can't wait until next year!

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