I am writing this in the middle of the night after the World XCM championships in Laissac (France), I have too much pain to sleep, I can’t lay down and I tried to sleep sitting up but it did not work…. This is not the report I wanted to write and not what I had expected after the world champs yesterday. I thought I had used up all my bad luck for this year with the fractured wrist in February and the heart operation in March, I really hope that 3 broken ribs will be the last for this year!
I had been selected to represent the Swedish national team as one out of 4 riders and the only girl. So Craig and I flew down to France on Monday so that I could train on the course and for Craig to work for the Topeak team. We stayed in the house which Squirt organises for their sponsored riders the first days and on Thursday I moved to the national team and Craig moved to his team. Fredrik from the national team travelled and stayed with us for the week and on Thursday Calle came down and Gustav the last riders joined us on Friday together with our manager Anders and mechanic Marcus. It was a good vibe in the house and everyone was looking forward to the race.
It was a course you wanted to see beforehand, it was tough, technical and very muddy after all the rain they had had here. We were lucky with the weather during the week leading up to the race though and it did dry up a bit for race day. I had 2 places I particularly wanted to ride again (I had only seen all parts once) so Anders drove me to those places on Saturday and after managing this fine I felt good for the race!
We were 55 girls on the start line at 8.20am, I had not done any qualifying races so I had no points at all so I was ranked 52. It did not matter since I managed to be up at the front already after a few hundred meters. I was among the first when we started the first climb but it was a bit too long and too soon so I dropped back a bit and I think I was laying somewhere around 9-13 the whole time. My legs started to feel better on the climbs between feed station 1 and 2 and I set in to the pace I knew I could keep for a long time. At the second feed I was laying 11 and I could see some girls in front and I was approaching my second obstacle that I had practiced on, but I never got to it… Suddenly on a single track in the forest I just feel a bang when I hit the ground very hard. I am not 100% sure of exactly what happened, if my front wheel just disappeared under me or if I hit my handle bar in a tree…. it just happened so fast. I first thought I hit the side of my back in a tree but now afterwards I am not entirely sure, all I heard was that terrible sound of a bone breaking and the pain in my rib was instant. I was laying on the ground screaming of pain for a bit before I could get up and to carry on did not even cross my mind. A kind Frenchmen helped me to get back to the feed station where I could see a doctor. Craig, Anders and Marcus was also there to take care of me which was nice. I was taken in an ambulance to the hospital in Rodez where they did x-rays and showed me 3 fractures in my ribs which of 1 is a clear cut. I have fractured ribs before but to feel that it moves when I move, laugh or cough is something new…
Now there is lots of change of plans again and it feels very sad, I just started to feel that the form was on its way back after the heart operation…. But it is just to accept what has happened, get stronger, and look forward! I will be back once again as so many times before after an injury!
Checking the route with Fredrik, Craig and Lars
Laissac is welcoming the World champs
Severac - l'Eglise
A few hundred meters after the start.
More pictures will come later.