Getting to my first World Cup has a bit of a back story. After I had all my licence issues sorted, I discovered this during my training ride. The seat stay was broken. Completely snapped.
We had two days before we were leaving for Italy. I had no idea how it happened. All I knew was that it had to be fixed within 2 days. While I was stressed and worried, Josh got all excited to fix a carbon frame.
First, I got on the phone. Ringing every bike shop in the region. I asked if they happen to have a spare Scott Spark or a spare part I could borrow. I had no luck. Then I rang a local carbon bike manufacturer (Schmolke Carbon) and asked if they would repair it. The workshop mechanic was on holiday, so no luck there either. But they did tell me to ring another carbon manufacturer across the lake (Lightweight). Leightweight wouldn't repair my bike either but I did talk them into giving me some carbon sheets and resins. I extracted every bit of information out of them on how to work with carbon. A quick trip to the hardware store and we had everything we needed: a hex saw, sand paper, a metal rod, carbon sheets and resins.
Would you trust this person to fix your carbon bike???
Josh sat up his 'operation room' and got the hex saw out. Now the frame was completely in two pieces. Gulp. Then there was lots of sanding, measuring and clueing going on. I could not watch.
He came up with some interesting inventions to create pressure for the resin to set. In the mean time I was back on the phone with Schmolke Carbon who were organising a replacement part from the Scotts Headquarters in Belgium for me. Scott promised to send it straight away with over-night courier.
The next morning the seat stay was as new and even fitted back on my bike. The 10 mm studding perfectly balanced out the weight of the gears now. We loaded the car in the morning and got ready to leave. On my way out the door I got a phone call saying my replacement had arrived! Hurray!!! We picked it up on your way and hit the road.
We arrived in Val di Sole with some days spare to practice the course and take in the atmosphere. The event village was on a big hill side with the DH course and 4x all on the same hill. There were events and parties on every day, and lots and lots of people creating a goosebump atmospehere!
On race day, I was surprisingly calm. There was no pressure. I was going to be called up last. So all I could do was gain positions. I just focussed on my usual routine. In the process I almost missed my start because I hadn't picked up my transponder. It completely slipped my mind (since it was not in the race pack) that I had to pick it up before the start.
We got called up one after the other. When the gun went off, I could only stand there in the back of the field and watch the others race ahead. 78 girls were fighting to get to the single trail first. When you start right at the back of the field all you can do is getting your elbows out and get amongst it and most importantly be patient!
The first two laps were a complete shambles with bikes and girls all over the track. There is actually no point in practising the best lines before as you don't get to ride them in the race anyway. You end up just riding the line that is free at the time trying to pass as many girls as possible in the process. It was a great race and enjoyed pushing as hard as I could while taking in the amazing atmosphere.