Rider Diary: Sue Clarke
Interview with Sue Clarke - Brand New Sue - July 2009
Racing cross country and representing Great Britain since 1994 when she rode as a Junior in the World Mountain Bike Championships, Sue Clarke has been British Champion, competed in the Commonwealth Games and is now making a return to top level racing with help from husband and XC racing legend, Barrie Clarke. To find out all about Sue read her feature-length interview, and get the latest from her comeback right here.
August 1 2009
International, National, International...
It was a mad dash from winning the National Champs to flying out for World Cup Canada-style. I think the adrenaline of winning the Nationals 12-hours previous kept me awake on the drive down but I knew somewhere along the way I would pay for this!
After a hassle free and pleasant flight to Montreal where I took in a couple of movies, we eventually arrived totally wasted to our hotel. The next few days were spent recuperating with some light training.
Towards the end of the week I checked out the course at Mont Sainte Anne and it was a tough one. Very technical the whole way with slippery rocks and roots to negotiate - the most technical being the gruyere rock drop off. Many a spill was had here from the World's best riders.
Race day arrived and it was wet again, we stood waiting to get gridded in heavy rain, this time no Phil with his umbrellas! I was announced as the British Champion upon call up which brought a smile to my families faces. A crazy battle began straight off the start trying to pass as many people as possible around the start loop before the first section of singletrack. I found myself boxed in but tried not to get frustrated. Total carnage followed in the narrow wooded section with people fighting to get by each other, a total tangle of bikes, riders and course tape!
It was to get a bit worse for me as on the first time down the rock drop a rider crashed behind me, her bike carrying on down the descent and using my butt as a stop sign. The chainset ripped through to my skin; it was lucky that I was covered in mud otherwise I may have been taken into custody for indecent exposure!
Eventually finishing 34th I think with a clean run I was capable of being in the 20's so that will be what I look towards next week in Bromont. This race puts me up to 47th in the World rankings which is a big leap from where I was placed at the start of the year.
No sooner had I got cleaned up than the men's race was underway. I went onto the hillside to cheer on fellow British riders Liam & Oli. On about the third lap Oli had an extremely nasty crash down the rocky drop off. I ran to offer my assistance, there was an awful lot of blood pumping from his head but I tried to reassure him it was not as bad as it looked. Medics took Oli down off the mountain and made an excellent job of stitching his ear back together. Hopefully our guys will have more luck next weekend.
Now it is time to get in a few practice laps before this weekend. We are staying in an Auberge where the USA team, French and Australian are also present. Some of the US U23 guys look extremely bored, whiling away time on laptops!
Bye for now, Sue.