SAMARA CHECKS IN

After her first World Cup experience in Champery on Sunday, Wide Open's Samara Sheppard checks in with a bit of a race report:

"UCI MTB World Cup, Champery, Switzerland

So pretty much the race was epic! So tough. Starting near the back of a field of 140 riders, it was nuts!

I had an all right start then just started getting caught up behind pile-ups. The track was slippery as and full of thick deep mud that you couldn't ride so was forever on and off the bike running. It was full on the entire time fighting my way through the field, got sent into the gutter and off track a couple of times from getting cut off when trying to pass. Had one pretty big stack when I Iost it going down a rutted steep chute, into a tree head-first and cracked my helmet right down the centre—bit of a headache and crank neck now but not too bad.

The laps were like 4.2km long or something and we had about a 3k start loop first... so I got lapped out. I think only about 50 riders finished? Not sure what place I was, I had just caught up to the back of the next chain of riders. It sucks not finishing but I had fun and learnt heaps, it's all experience under the belt. Next weekend at the Italy round I hope to improve. I know I am riding well enough to be further up the field (when I am not trying to headbutt trees), I just need to set myself up better so that's where I am positioned.

Samara "