The second day started with a wonderful sunshine and it lasted throughout the entire day. The day started with the U23 women’s XCO race then I headed out to the downhill track to catch the afternoon timed sesson.
Racing on home soil is always a special thing, Emily Batty’s face was smiling accordingly.
Soon-to-be-bronze-medalist Paula Gorycka crashed hard on in the first lap on the toughest descend of the course. This, however, didn’t stop her to finish the rest of the race in a remarkable style.
It wasn’t Gorycka only, who had problems with this bit of the course.
She didn’t start to well but then worked her way up to the leading group and in two laps she arrived behind Annie Last, who was in the lead from the start.
Few of the many Emily Batty supporters.
Annie Last rode remarkably through the entire race and led the field. This is her antepenultimate lap and even though she was leading the race at this point, Engen was only a couple of seconds behind her.
Though she is covered with dust, she consistently made up her way to the third position.
The well-deserved and happy smile of Alexandra Engen at the finish line.
Yes, it is her – and she was racing. I remember Leigh Donovan from the my teens when I read all the mountain biking mags from the first till the last page and she was definitely a hero of mine. I didn’t know that she was still racing so it was a great surprise to see her at the start line. She put down a decent effort, and we will see her in the final on Sunday.
Leigh Donovan’s pre-race seconds.
Tracy Moseley hitting the pedals hard on the top section of the course, she was the fastest yesterday.
After watching these guys for a long season, it’s sometimes tricky to recognize them in their national colours – had I not checked his race number, I would have missed Andrew Neethling.
Just for your reference: this rock was roughly as high as me and I’m 6’4″. Scary stuff.