Fresh off her second consecutive record breaking win at the Leadville Trail 100, Suunto athlete Rebecca Rusch gets to add yet another impressive title to her staggering resume. This past week Rebecca was in Brazil for the UCI Master’s Cross Country World Champions and blew the competition away. From her website she writes:
Done. 16.5 km of pure pain and I’m the new UCI masters’s cross country World Champ (35-44)with a set of rainbow stripes! I”m adding this world title to my three 24 Hour Solo Worlds titles, one Adventure Racing Worlds title and one Masters Cross Country Skiing World title. It’s kind of cool.
This trip started with a theft and less than ideal preparation with a ton of travel, too many days off the bike and too much time in a police station. However, it ended up just great. The course took me a few days to master the technical parts, but today’s race went off without a hitch. My bike and legs both did the job. I rode my Specialized S-works Era with Sauserwind tires for this course. My race group started 30 seconds back from the 30-34 women. The course started straight uphill with about a 5 minute climb. As my coach told me to do, I laid it on the line and pinned it from the start. By the time I reached the top of the climb to drop into the single track, I had caught and passed all the women in the previous age group, except for one woman from Argentina. I kept her in sight for most of the race. Behind me, I just wanted to keep opening a gap on the climbs so I could ride the descents without traffic and focus on being smooth. I buried myself on the short, sharp climbs and then held on for the desents. I rode all of the descents with no crashes and I was really happy about that. I had to walk one uphill that was about 29% and just seemed faster to run. My throat is killing me and my Suunto HR numbers will be really fun to download on Movescount. Quite different from my 24 Hour World Champs experience. It hurt, but was over so fast. It is a different sort of suffering. My race was about 1:18 and I was about 11 minutes ahead of the next woman. It was a blast to jump out of my element and race XC. It was great for me to put myself out there and work on some of my weaknesses like starting fast and riding technical terrain. The awards were a blast and I must admit it’s hard not to get a bit choked up when they played the American National Anthem. Augustina was the Argentine woman who won 30-34 and finished in front of me. I almost broke into tears when she took the podium because there were about 30 Argentine racers all singing their national song and waving their arms in unison. It was quite a show of national pride.
I spent the afternoon doing a few interviews, socializing and watching the dowhnill qualifying runs. We also swam in the ocean, had lunch on the beach and drank Caipirinha to celebrate! I owe huge thanks to Martin and Pinano, from Argentina, for taking care of me this week. They have been my mechanics, translators, feed zone crew, transportation and technical riding coaches this week.
For more on Rebecca visit her website here.