My European “Race-cation” as I would soon dub it, started out at the World Championships in Villars, Switzerland.
The sprint was my first taste of international racing. It feels like the closest thing similar to racing the mile in college. It’s an all out effort, racing neck in neck with the worlds best. One of the advantages, depending on how you look at it, was not knowing my competition. I heard all the stories, I knew these euro ladies were the best, but I wasn’t going to back down with out a fight. It’s like this rookie priviledge you get when you are the newcomer on the scene. I went out fast and during the transitions got eat’n alive but it was one of the coolest races I had ever experienced.
I fumbled my final transition and lost about 4 places in what was some costly seconds. I finished top 20 (and top American) in the Sprint and 18th in Individual (2nd American), and top 10 in Teams and Relay.
An all out effort up the hill about 4 hundred feet including a boot pack and 3 transition points before descending around giant slalom styled gates to the finish. It was a neck and neck pursuit and the highlight of my Worlds experience.
I crave this level of competition and competing with the best women in the world really lit a fire under me. During the Individual and for the first hour of the race I was back and forth with my rival and rock star teammate, Jessie Young. We were stacked in between about 4 other racers 3 of which were Espoirs. Now when I look back I actually know who these women are that I was racing against. Needless to say Jessie put the pedal down on the last ascent and gained almost 3 minutes