The big race of the year. This year coming in to Worlds I was more confident, focused and ready for it than ever before.
I always knew it was going to be the hardest race of my life so far but I’ve put everything in to this race so whatever the outcome I’ve done everything I could to get those rainbow stripes.
The biggest part of the race I knew was going to be qualifying, with inside gate pick on this track you really do have a big advantage. I qualified 3rd with what honestly had to be my worst qualifying run all year. Of course I wasn’t happy but I knew it wasn’t over, it was all to play for come race day.
The morning of race day I was trying to do anything to keep my mind off racing, so many thoughts running through my head. Just before racing Joost sat me down and to try calm me down, every word he said had so much meaning to it and he really did fill me with confidence. We were both here for a reason and that was to win that race. All or nothing.
Practice and racing seemed to fly by, before I knew it i had raced quarters and semi finals and I was jumping off the uplift ready finals. The only thing running through my mind in the uplift was jumping the lower pro line. None of the girls had jumped it in racing or practice so it was always going to be a do or die move! I jumped off the uplift and grabbed Will and asked him if he could ring the boys at the bottom to ask about the head wind on the pro line. Will has looked after me at every World Champs and knows exactly what to say to say to keep me calm and focused.
They called me up to the gate, i still hadn’t heard back from Will so was still in doubt. I sat in the gate and all I heard was Will shout ‘yes, send it’. The gate dropped and i gave it everything but Caroline and Anneke hit the first corner out in front. I swung wide in to the pro line to try build some speed. I was sat in third but knew i could make the move to second, I held back a bit and as we hit the bridge I gave it everything, I took off the first jump just behind Anneke and as I landed I cranked as hard as possible. I made it in to 2nd and before I knew it i was up in the air again flying over a jump I’d never hit before and wasnt even sure if I’d make it! Luckily I had enough speed to make it to the landing but it just wasnt enough to catch Caroline. Chasing through the rocks I knew it just wasnt enough, game over. I crossed the line in 2nd, with Caroline crowned the new World Champion. I felted so deflated that it was over, that was it but now looking back I know i gave it 110%, I really couldn’t of pushed any harder and I’m happy with how I rode. It really has been an amazing year and I’m already excited for next season. New challenges and new adventures.World Champs Video
After what has been one amazing season, the last round of the 4X ProTour 2013 came to an end this weekend in Leogang, Austria. With 4/4 wins in the previous rounds of the ProTour I was coming in to this round with a slightly different out look on the race. The 4X world champs is this weekend coming and with that being my biggest aim of the year I just wanted to get through the weekend risk free, un injured ready to be 100% fit for world champs. Also knowing I had wrapped up the overall series (another major goal of mine) I knew I didn’t have to take any big risks.
As the World champs are next weekend it brought a stacked field of women out to race the ProTour so racing with such a stacked field was going to be probably the hardest race of the year. My qualifying run was good, I didn’t make any major mistake but I lacked energy and power in my legs at the end of my run. I crossed the line in 2nd place just 0.3sec behind Anneke Beerten.
My first two knock out heats I wanted to play it safe and save some energy for the final, out of the gate I gave it 100% for the first 3 straights and backed off for the rest of the run just keeping it smooth and getting to finish in the top 2 to make it through to the next heat. Luckily my game plan worked and I made it through to the final.
As the gate dropped for the final all myself, Anneke and Caroline were battling bar to bar down to the first corner, with Anneke being on the inside she swept out in front as I followed on her tail in 2nd. As we came on to the 2nd straight I swept up way to high leaving Caroline to push past leaving me in 3rd. As we dropped in to the pro straight Caroline and Anneke crashed together leaving Anneke on the floor and Caroline out front. Coming down the 4th straight I was slowly catching Caroline but just didnt quite have the speed in to the last corner to make a move. We crossed the finish line with Caroline taking the win and myself in 2nd.
I was happy with 2nd place and even more happy to take the overall series. It’s been a great year racing with everyone and I’ve loved every minute of it. This weekend is World Champs the biggest race of the year so keep checking back for updates as well as on Facebook And Twitter @katycurd.
I cant quite believe the season is over already, the last round of the British 4X was held this weekend at Leamington Spa and what a race it was to finish on. All year at every round we have been pushing for more and more women to come race 4X and Leamington saw a record number of 18 girs racing. It was great to see so many new faces and it made racing real close and exciting to watch.
The weekend for me went real well, using this race as preparation for Worlds in a couple of months i was pushing hard and really trying to perfect everything. I had some close racing in my motos but managed to keep it controlled and smooth winning every round placing me through to quarter finals.
Quarter and semi finals again were tough battles making me push hard until the line, i managed to take the win for both heats placing me through to the finals. For the finals i got the snap and led down the first straight, in to the first corner i pushed as hard as ever trying to build as much speed as possible to stay in front. Leading in to the last technical straight i kept it controlled but pushing hard for speed. I managed to keep the led and cross the line out in front taking the win and even better wrapping up the series overall win as well.
Every round of the Britsh 4X this year has been mega fun to race and has been my best season to date. Its been amazing to see so many new faces racing and i already cant wait until next year.
There was so much hype leading up to JBC, with world number 1 4X rider Tomas Slavic building the track it was bound to be a good one. After seeing all the helmet cameras and teaser videos leading up to the race I was really looking forward to riding there. After arriving and walking the track you could see how much effort had been put in to not only the track but the entire event.
Just walking the track i was getting excited, big pro lines, wooded sections, rock gardens, wall ride, everything that could be thrown in to the track was! First day of practice i was excited but also nervous, the track was big and fast and i knew one small mistake could end pretty badly.
After a couple of hours practice on the track the nerves were still there but i was smiling from ear to ear! The track was insane, one pedal of the start hill and you didnt need to pedal again until half way down the track. Ive never ridden a track where slowing down was the issue not trying to get up to speed!
Friday night was qualifying and if im honest i really didnt feel ready for it, i was struggling to decide which lines rode fastest and felt a little unprepared for it. As the gate dropped i had a good first straight but took a wide line in to chicken line which set me back on time. As i got in to the woods i hit my line but un-clipped on the exit losing even more time. from here i lost my focus completely ridding my lines but just couldnt let go off the brakes. I crossed the line 0.5 seconds behind Celine Gros placing me 2nd.
For the finals i was feeling 10 times better, i felt comfortable on track and was ready for racing. For my semi finals i had a good run, i got in to the first corner out in front and lead from there until the line placing me in the finals. With 2nd gate pick i knew i had to get a good gate to try edge in front by the first corner. The gate dropped and i was bar to bar with Celine until the first jump. As we landed i just edged in front a shot in to the first corner out in front. I dropped in to the chicken line hearing the other girls right close behind. As we came in to the woods multiple lines were taken by every rider but i managed to keep the lead and headed in to the rock garden. As i wet inside through the rocks i could hear Celine to my left taking the outside line to try gain some speed. I jumped out the rock still just in front and headed in to the last couple of corners. Heavily on the brakes to try and hit my line i rode the double on the last corner and pedalled to the final road gap. As i landed i crossed the finish line in the lead to take the win for the 4th round of the Pro Tour. With this being my 4th win of the series i managed to wrap up the overall series with still one round to spare. This being a big goal of mine i was over the moon and it was time to celebrate Czech style!
What to do with a spare weekend at home, race of course! I havn’t raced downhill this year and after just receiving my new Rose beefcake downhill bike I thought I better give it a shot. The track was great, short but had a mixture of everything, flat corners, off camber roots, tight technical sections and a good amount of jumps to finish.
After a big old storm over night we were left with a wet, greasy track in the morning which made thing interesting and in my opinion more fun! I was switching between flats and clips all morning as it was quite a pedal power track but in the wet I was having some good foot out moments!
My first race run I opted for flats, off the start line I felt sluggish but soon picked up speed in the top corners. I felt quick through the top section and dropped in to the woods, I was surprised at how much it had dried out so tried to much it a little harder but think I tried a little to much and came off line! Trying to compose myself again I dropped in to the last section of jumps and tried to keep it smooth until the finish. I crossed the line in first place but knowing I had a lot more to give.
My second run I changed back to clip pedals as with a clean-ish run in the bag I could really push for a fast run. Out of the start I felt 10 times better with clips on, hit in to the first couple of corners but as I exited the last corner I lost the front wheel on a root and binned it in to the floor! Knowing I couldn’t get a faster time than my first run anymore I cruised it to the finish.
Luckily my first run time was enough to hold the win just in front of young gun Megan Wherry and 3rd position Lindsay Hanley. I had a great day racing on the big bike again, a lot practice to be done before I’m back up to speed but it for sure put a smile on my face and that’s what it’s all about!
National champs is always an important race to me, I love supporting the UK series and it means a lot to me to wear the national flag on my sleeve for the year. National champs this year were held at Bridgenorth, we have not raced this track for a few years in the British series so it was good to return here. It was a double rounder weekend with round 5 of the national series on Saturday and the Champs on Sunday.
Saturday went well for me, I managed to win all my motos and knock out heats and got through to the final. The gate dropped for the finals and I got the snap and led to the first corner. I managed to stay clear of trouble and held a clean run to the finish line to take the win for round 5.
After the nice evening resting my legs in the hotel swimming pool it was straight to bed ready for champs in the morning. National Champs are ran in the same format as a Pro Tour with a qualifying run and straight in to knock out heats. I had a smooth run for qualifying with only one small mistake but it was good enough to hold the lead and take the win.
After a long break we were back racing, for my semi-final i had a real bad gate but managed to power ahead by the first jump to edge ahead and take the lead. I had smooth run from here on and took the win placing me through to the finals.
As the gate dropped for the finals I got the snap and tried to power ahead, as I got in to the first corner I could hear the girls close behind me. I tried to keep as smooth as possible to keep the lead but could hear them chasing the entire way. As we dropped in to the last corner I pedalled as hard as possible and crossed the line first taking my 4th consecutive National Champs title. Im so happy I get to keep my sleeve for another year and I had such a great weekend racing everyone.
Sony Video Diary
After having 3 pretty full on weeks away racing and travelling it was nice to arrive back for a chilled out weekend racing at home for round 4 of British 4X series at Redhill. I always love riding at Redhill, it’s a nice easy track so suitable for everyone from beginners to elite and the atmosphere there is always one of the best of the year.
Once again I was impressed at the number of women racing and not only that but the standard of riding from the girls, especially from the younger girls. Racing started at 12 and every heat I raced was stacked so I was pushing hard from top to bottom. I had a great first few heats and won every moto placing me straight through to the semi finals.
For the semi finals I had a good start out the gate and shot into the first corner out in front, I held a smooth run until the finish line and crossed the line in first placing me through to the finals. Lining up for the finals I knew it was going to be a hard race, as the gate dropped i had a good battle to the first corner but just managed to nip in front by the first berm. I could hear some carnage behind me so with out looking back I cranked hard and pulled away. I had a good run all the way to the line to cross the line taking the win. It was a great days racing and good to see some new young racers up on the podium.
photo credits Jonny Ashelford
Sony Video: Sony video diary
I always enjoy going to Val Di Sole, the track always produces some of the best racing all year and the place itself is stunning. After a long truck down straight from Fort William we had a couple of days to chill before practice which was good to just relax.
After a few days off the bike I was more than ready to get practicing. The track as usual at Val Di Sole was super loose and unpredictable. It’s why I love riding there, you always feel like your pushing it to the limit, fighting for grip in every turn.
I was a bit nervous for qualifying as I knew how important gate pick was on this track. I started my run real steady and cautious but I picked up a lot of time as I was the only women to hit the pro line. I started to relax a little in to my run after the pro line and came across the finish line in first place but only 0.2 in front of Céline Gros so the times were tight.
As I won qualifying my first heat was fairly easy, I wanted to get a good snap and just try to get all my inside lines dialled and practiced ready for the final. As the gate dropped i had a good battle to the first corner but pulled ahead out into the lead. I pushed hard to stay in front with a consistent run and I came across the line in first place placing me through to the final.
My final heat I knew was going to be though, I had the inside gate but I knew anything could happen I that first corner. I had a fairly bad gate and really battled bar to bar down the first straight, as we hit the first corner I snuck inside, foot out and drifting! I held my line and pulled ahead out in front. I could hear Céline on my tail for the entire run, I knew if I made one tiny error Céline would be there to take the lead. I kept control for the race and led all the way to the line to win round 3 of the Pro Tour. I was so happy to take the win there making it 3/3 rounds in a row.
Fort William holds some good memories for me, i competed in my first international event there in 2007 for World Champs picking up silver in juniors and have been racing there every year since. Not only is it the UK’s home soil World Cup race it is by far the best event on the circuit, the atmosphere, the crowds and the track are one of a kind and its a big race to win for any rider.
This year more than any winning Fort William 4X was a massive goal of mine. Its been my first year training full time so i am coming in to the race stronger and fitter than ever but looking at the competition i knew it was probably going to be the hardest race of the year. The track remained the same as the previous year just freshly groomed making it loose as anything. The surface of the track is like riding on marbles so you really had to trust in your tyres to stick it round the corners.
Qualifying went well for me, i had a good run only making one mistake nearer the bottom of the track but it was good enough to cross the line in first place ahead of Caroline Buchanan and Anneke Beerten. Just Winning qualifying gave me a big boost of confidence knowing i was up to pace.
Race day came around and to say i was nervous was an understatement! I was trying to keep busy all day to try keep my mind busy and away from thinking about the race. Practice time came around and i jumped straight to it. I was feeling good in practice so tried to keep riding to a minimum to save my energy for racing.
For my first heat i got the snap and led down the first straight, i could hear the girls on my tails though so i tried to keep it smooth and maintain the lead. i crossed the line out in front placing me straight through to the final. For the final i was up against olympic bmx’er Caroline Buchanon, Lucia Otjen and Celine Gros, one of the hardest heats i had in a while. As the gate dropped Caroline got the snap and led down the first straight, staying close to Caroline’s back wheel in 2nd position i backed off a little to try go wide in the first corner to gain some speed. As i hit the first corner i saw my chance to make a move as she drifted wide, we were neck and neck down the entire of the 2nd straight but as soon as we hit the last jump i saw my chance to make a move. as we hit the 2nd corner i drifted wide as Caroline darted inside, i felt my rear wheel drifting but i managed to make it stick and shot out in to the lead just before the rocks.
As i jumped of the rocks i tried to calm myself down as focus on the rest of the race. coming in to the last corner i could hear the crowd going wild, it was mad just how loud everyone was. I dropped of the last drop and pedalled for the line, i crossed the line out in front and couldnt quite believe i had just won. It was wild, the crowd were going insane. Winning a World Cup on home soil in front of thousands of people racing against some of the worlds best riders, it was a pretty special night and one i wont be forgetting in a while.
This weekend saw a busy weekend of racing, Saturday was round 3 of British 4X Series and Sunday was round 2 of the Euro Series all at Harthill, Cheshire.
Saturday saw 16 elite female riders turn up for racing which was great to see. I wasnt feeling 100% Saturday after a hard weeks training but i new i had to up my game with so many girls entered.
In the morning i managed to win all my motos placing through to the knock out heats. Getting straight through to the semi-final i had a real hard heat up against some of the top UK girls. Out of the gate i got the snap and shot in to the first corner out in front. I managed to stay focused and kept the lead until the finish placing me into the final.
With 2nd gate pick i knew i had to get a good snap to get the lead. As soon as the gate dropped i felt like i was already over it and in the first corner before i knew it. I could hear the girls right on my tail through out the race so i tried to keep it smooth and just ride all my inside lines. I was pushed all the way to the finish line but happy to ross the line out in front to take the win on day 1.
Sunday i was feeling myself again and real hyped up for racing. Sunday was ran in a different format as it was a European round which meant everyone had an individual timed run and then went straight into knock out rounds.
My qualifying run went well, i was a little nervous so i tensed up a little when riding but i crossed the line 3.7 seconds up on 2nd place so i was pretty happy with that. Jumping straight into semi finals i had a fairly easy heat because of qualifying 1st and managed to take the lead from start to finish to jump straight into the final.
I got the snap in the final and managed to sneak into the first corner out in front but i could see and hear the other girls in the corner of my eye. darting in the inside of the 2nd corner i almost came to a stop but knew i had to put the power down to try keep the lead. Coming down the 3rd straight i knew i was gaining a bit of a lead so held back a little to just try stay 100% in control. Coming into the last corner i looked back behind me and knew i was safe, i railed the outside line and kept my speed to cross the finish line in 1st to top of a great weekend of racing.
Next race is round 2 of the 4X Pro Tour in Scotland next weekend so keep up to date with info on my twitter @katycurd