Qualification day arrived and I was a whole lot happier as it’s wasn’t raining! I was a little nervous before the race – first mass start race. I forced a croissant, yoghurt/muesli and coffee down the gullet. We ascended the gondola to the top few corners of the quali track to see the first group fly past. It looked like a fox hunt on bikes. I started to get pumped up! I realised my battle group was assembling, off with the jackets and down to the start. A bit of jostling and everyone was lined up at the start. The 30 second board was waved and the tacky Euro-electro blasted through the speakers like fox horns to the hunt:
A few battle cries later and we were off. The experienced guys got the jump on me at the start but I managed to enter the first corner in about 6th place – good start! Someone went down in the snow in front of me. Remembering Ben Watkins video from last year’s Mega I gripped the bars tight and dragged my bike straight over him. Good start!
Highlights of my run:
I went well in the top section getting a bit vocal passing someone but then got passed later down. I kept the passer in my sights for the next 15mins of the race right up to the finish line. I rode everything a little more conservative than practice but maintained my position and placed 7th – with the top 23 going through to the main event I was very happy!
Saturday was filled with croissants, crepes, coffees, Clifs and cleaning (the all important 5 C’s). It started to rain again. There was talk of the glacier being excluded from the race. Luckily we got news that the weather was due to improve so we were going from the top! After a week of the worst weather in Mega history it was uplifting to know we could do the whole race.