Leogang World Cup

So I just got back from Europe...whew this season has been a roller coaster and a half. Half expected I guess. The first two World Cups hit me pretty hard...they just smash you...your heart, your ego and your confidence but I know that I would not be in the situation I am now without those experiences.

After Fort William we made the trek down to Austria via train which was such a fun little adventure, that kind of thing just puts me at ease. Lovvve little adventures. Things just fell into place and we ended up in Saalbach Austria. Saalbach was pretty quite as most of the circus went out to Willingen, Germany for Wheels of Speed but Keene and I decided to go hang with the Monster Specialized boys in Saalbach. Got a few good days of shredding in and had a lot of just straight hanging :) I also got a lesson in suspension set-up by the boys which was amazing to say the least...so come Leogang my suspension was sooooo good.

I can honestly say this is the first WC where I started to relax and have confidence in my abilities. I walked the track like 4 times...knew the track like the back of my hand and was just having fun. It was pretty dry at the beginning of practice but as the day went on, it pissed rain and the track got pretty muddy- but I was loving it....I just kept riding because I wanted to be ready and confident riding in whatever weather Saturday had in store for us.

On my 9th run I was getting a little tired so I was just cruising to the finish line (with the finish line in sight) on the high speed flats and then I hit the ground. I didn't hear or see anything just hit the ground so hard. It turns out that a guy was trying to pass me on the inside (I guess he was thinking I was going outside???) and he clipped my handlebar and I just hit the deck so hard and took all the impact onto my shoulder. I knew as soon as I sat up that my shoulder was messed up. I was so upset as I could immediately tell that opportunity, the revenge, I had so been looking forward to was not going to happen. My eyes were just swelling trying to hold back the tears (as I write this my eyes are swelling up again).

I tried to stay optimistic on Friday night with some ice and anti-inflamitories. I hoped on my bike on Saturday morning and just held onto the bars pulling and pushing and there was just nothing...not happening, no way.

I know it was an accident and and the guy meant no harm. With that said, it was pretty stupid and reckless if you ask me. We were pretty much at the finish line and it was a practice run and it was not like it was a top to bottom run this guy was doing as I had just stopped to clear my goggles of mud like 15 seconds before and he was sitting right there too. Lame. So bad to come all all the way out to Europe to race to have it end like that. Urgghhhhhhhh.

Anyway, I just hope that my shoulder heals up fast. I don't think that there is anything majorly wrong with it that would require any kind of operation or anything but I separated my shoulder pretty gnarly like 3 years ago and then partially tore my rotator cuff last year on the same shoulder so the whole thing in general  is not how it should be I mean its not like it has kept me from doing anything or caused me problems but not everything was totally intact before this crash so who knows. It is amazing what some ice, rest, anti-inflamitories and thera-bands can do. :)

Photo: Troy Brosnon

Katie Holden