Long distance final
Saturday, 30 August 2008
Steady rain overnight and this morning meant the forest was going to be muddy and heavy going for the long distance final. Alex and AJ had late starts after their good qualification races and the girls all started in the first half of the field.
After spending most of Wednesday night nauseous and Thursday in bed, AJ rode brilliantly for 6th place, 3 minutes after Russian Ruslan Gritsan. Unfortunately for AJ he hadn't recovered from the bout of food poisoning to be anywhere near his usual form. Alex rode solidly, although with a few small mistakes for a great 13th place.
Mel, Thor and Jen all had solid rides. It was particularly exciting early on as Mel finished with a fast time and held first place for several hours. It was even nearly half an hour after she finished before the 2nd woman finished on their course! Cath had a bit of trouble with one big parallel error in the tricky terrain.
The girls were probably a little disadvantaged by the weather which cleared up this afternoon, making the tracks dry out considerably for the later starters. But all were happy with their rides, having found good rhythm in the difficult terrain.