My racing for the season 2015 is now officially over. Good that it is, as the past week came at me with the gloves off. I’m sore all over, strained, bruised and patched and do not remember needing an off period as bad as I do now.
The last race, Master’s World Championships in Manchester was packed with action. The action part started already during my first F200m effort. I was cruising through the first bend and suddenly the rear wheel slipped under me. I walked away with stiff leg and extremely frustrated.
The second incident and a defining moment took place during my second heat. The riding style of my opponent was really aggressive from the beginning. We started the 3rd lap running at about 45kmh when he suddenly decided to rail me in the 1st corner. I hit the wall and slide down the track. Getting off my bike I felt absolutely furious. The last time I’ve been that bent out of shape was 20 some years ago!
That evening at the hotel I was sure the crash ended the comps for me. Getting to bed was agonizing. My right side was a mess: I had a strained back and deltoid, bruised piriformis and gluteus medius, something really weird going on with my knee, mild whiplash strain in my neck and severe road rash. I was not sure if I’d have the strength to get up.
The morning came and so did the will. This is what we Finns call Sisu, pure determination. Not giving up. Freddy Mercury’s “I face it with a grin, I’m never giving in, on with the show…” in my mind I decided to grit my teeth, keep my cool and not give away any glues about my condition. Armed with a bunch of 800mg dozes of ibuprofen I head to battle.
I was able to ride through semifinals with two straight wins. The gold medal battle was tough. In the 3 rides for the gold I was able to put up a decent fight. Eventually my win was not the race itself, but rather over pain. The Silver medal in M45-49 Sprint now symbolises this mind over matter victory.
Despite all the incidents the Master’s Worlds was a great event! It is well organized, gives an opportunity to meet loads of great people and make new friends. Racing alone is a lot of fun, but racing with friends is such a ball! I do not know any better way to end the season!
In my next post I’ll dig in to my results and see what the numbers tell me. Stay tuned!