Practice day is finally here! Today I will ride the course I had dreamt of for years. First though we had an awesome breakfast with all the riders and I met the likes of Jamie Goldman, Brett Rheeder, Marcello Gutierrez and current world champion and championship leader Filip Polc.
Riders registration opened at 9:00am so I signed my life away confirming I am fit to ride and know what Im doing….?!
Time to load the bikes and head to the Crista. We were all asked to do a track walk together so walked 42 riders strong to the bottom before being taken back up to meet our bikes and set off.
My name was called and I rolled up to the start gate. Off I go on the most talked about Urban course on the planet. I tip toed through the wooded area ensuring not to make a silly mistake. Jumped onto the school roof and off the other side but miss judged the sharp right hand corner and being not used to triple crown forks and SPD pedals I fell onto my right hand side and down the few steps.
I put both my hands out but the pure shock of the impact broke my right hand. I did not know immediately that it had broke but knew it was not feeling strong. I took a quick rest before jumping back on my bike and headed down the steepest and most un rhythmic steps ever. The pain was excruciating but knew I had to carry on. I was feeling so bad that I did not attempt the big drop or jumps at the bottom.
I knew that I was in serious trouble when I reached the bottom of the course but refused to believe that it could be broken.
I got in the shuttle and headed back up for practice run two. The driver passed a pharmacy driving up through the town so I asked him to stop whilst I jumped out and bought some anti inflammatory pills. Second try on the line and I could not squeeze anything with my right hand. This was devastating to take in and realise I would not be racing at this rate. I went down the course in record slow speed stopping at every jump, drop and step due to the pain screaming from my right hand.
Practice was over and we headed back to the hotel. I was in real danger of not racing. The racers paramedic bandaged my hand and prepped me for an easy night ahead. I grabbed some food by myself and hit the pillow early.