Aspen, Colorado.....I'm having to pinch myself each day to see if I am dreaming!
So it's just sinking in that I'm actually in America (childhood dream) and have a permanent grin on my face, a bit like all the locals do. And for the first time I saw tumbleweed, yep, just like the cartoon and cowboy movie tumbleweed, which I was highly amused by while I sat on the airport shuttle bus to pick up our all-American SUV. Ah the Grand Dodge, you could sleep in this thing, it's huge, automatic, has lots of cool techy features and is definitely a car I will never ...afford in this lifetime!
I'm staying in a very posh apartment in the gorgeous ski town of Snowmass, with Bex and Matt, two fellow EWS racers. We're just metres from where the EWS race village will be set up this week, oh yeh, and Richie Rude is living next door!! We will be spying on him to see what this giant eats to make him so fast!
So day one was spent stocking up on food for the week, an afternoon catching up on some sleep, a wee bike ride up the mountain and a BBQ meat feast on our balcony. Feeling like I'd just stepped into an American sitcom this morning, we wandered around the town of Aspen drinking Starbucks, ordering enormous pancakes laden with maple syrup and greeted by super friendly waiters who made me feel like we'd known each other for years!
So far, I feel like I am well and truly living the American Dream, just need to get some Duff beer next 😬🇺🇸 Its going swell 🤓 Tomorrow we shall ride!
So, after a week of awesome riding, Thursday was upon us and we were straight into our first day of practice. It was the same format as the previous round in Italy, six stages raced over two days with two days of practice. It was an amazing four days, riding awesome trails, hanging out with all the top riders in the world and going back to our 'rad pad' for a swim in the pool to finish off each day.
It was a seriously stacked field of women and I knew that I would be really up against it. My goal of achieving top 20 overall was now looking doubtful after my 25th position in La Thuile so I knew that I had to race smart and race hard to achieve my goal. In a field of 44 finishers, racing was really tight. I ended up finishing in 33rd position. I had a massive crash off the big drop on stage 6 which was disastrous as I had to be stretchered off and brought to hospital by ambulance. This was by far the worst crash Ive had to date but I was extremely lucky to come out with just massive bruising on my hip and arm. I was off the bike for 10 days but the good news was that I and the bike were still in one piece!!
I am so unbelievably grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to Aspen and had such a brilliant experience riding here. Getting to experience the altitude, getting loose on this unfamiliar terrain, hanging out with this bunch, (top picture) and just about ending up in one piece at the end of it all! A Massive thank you to all the Enduro World Series medics who got me down the mountain safely and to hospital so quickly, I can't thank these guys enough. Thankfully scans all clear and I'm ok, saved by my Sweet Protection fullface helmet and a bit of luck. Let's hope il be back riding in a few days up in Whistler 🤘
Irish Female Enduro Racer Flow MTB Team Rider