I’m sitting out on my balcony here in beautiful Val D’Isere, France. It’s amazing scenery and we’re overlooking the XC and DH courses where the final World Cup round before the Olympics is taking place this weekend. I’ve just completed a really hard training camp in Switzerland so I’m feeling a little bit tired and taking it easy today. I’ve walked the course, but I haven’t ridden it yet. Half of it is more like singletrack trails on the mountain and then half is in the town with more rocks and features — it looks like it will be fun.
Like me, a lot of the other women have been doing some altitude training in the last few weeks, but everyone seems to be here to race — no-one is skipping it for the Olympics. While I was Switzerland we did some nice riding quite high up in the mountains; it was mainly conditioning work, but also some technical sessions including a few uplift runs. I’ve only got my XC bike with me this summer as it’s all very specific training at the minute, so I ended up doing all the downhills on that!
Overall, things have been going really well. I feel strong, and a couple of weeks ago in Davos I won a Swiss Cup XC event and was very pleased with my performance. Maja Wloszczowska was in second and Sabine Spitz placed third so it was a good confidence boost against that calibre of opposition.
This World Cup will be my final 100 per cent effort before Hadleigh, which is only two weeks away now. The course looks like it will be fast and flowing — it’s not like you’re ripping your muscles apart sat on a steep climb for ages. I’m at an altitude of around 1800m here, so it’ll be interesting to see how this affects the bike racing!
Next week I’ll be heading back to England for the Olympics, and I’m actually feeling pretty chilled (I think). Because I’ve had my head down with the training I haven’t had too much time to think about it, so I’m just really excited. I feel in good shape too, so that’s definitely helping me feel positive.
After this weekend I suppose we’ll know a little bit more about everybody’s form closer to the big event. It’s exciting!
We’ll all be flying back on Friday and I’m heading straight to the Olympic Village to have a look at what’s going on. I’ll see the physio, get accredited and have a BOA briefing, but I also want to get to the food hall and stuff like that – just sample life in the Village. We are staying closer to the course in Essex so we’ll be heading out there for the lead up to the event. All good for now — let’s see how I’m feeling this time next week!