Amelia Walsh - Euro Trip Update

Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Amelia: After the World Championships, James Palmer and myself headed to The Netherlands to ride at the Dutch Olympic Training Centre for a week before leaving for Sweden. We were lucky enough join in on the Kiwi and Aussie riding sessions. I've only ridden the track once in 2014, so it was great to have some time to play around on in again.

On August 2nd we headed for Sweden, which was an 11-hour drive door to door. We stayed at Hotel Eriksland which was about 5km from the Angelholm Centrum, as well as 5 km from the track. It was great to get some time on the track to get it dialed before the race.

We were invited to compete in a dragon boat race for the 50th anniversary of the town of Angelholm. We had a team of 12 made of up Aussies, Kiwis, Canadians, Americans and the Swedish. We cleaned through our moto race and semi finals. We had tough competition in the final but ended up getting 2nd. Photo finish said we actually won, but we let the locals have it.

Practice day rolled around the next week and again it was stupid windy. I didn’t even bother going up the hill, like most girls. Since we had 8 hours on the track prior to the race I wasn’t too concerned as I already had the track pretty well dialed.

The Saturday us ladies were suppose to have practice in the AM and then race qualifying motos in the PM. We ended up not riding at all on Saturday due to the wind and they moved our qualifying moto’s and 2nd practice to Sunday morning. The boys had to race that evening in the wind but only had two laps.

Sunday morning came and it was perfect. The wind had died down for us. Half way through our practice it started raining but was nothing to worry about. Since the boys only did two qualifying laps we entitled to do the same. I felt really good in practice, being the first girl on the hill to send the first jump and one of the few to complete the first straight during our short 55 min practice.

My first moto I was in lane 6 with Sarah Walker next to me in lane 7. I had been riding with her for several weeks so I had an idea of how she rode. The outside lanes on this track were a long way to the first corner, so I knew Sarah would be moving over right out of the gate. I came away with a 5th in my first moto, which I wasn’t very happy about but knew I needed to move on and focus on my next final lap.

I choose lane 3 for my next moto. I was advised to go on the outside and get a clean run at the first straight. Instead I was confident with my gate and was confident I could get out good. I had a good snap but my 3rd pedal didn’t come around smoothly causing me to get tangled up over the first jump and I unclipped mid air. I tried to get back in my pedals on the landing of the first jump but failed and went off the second jump with one foot in. Luckily I didn’t go down and managed to eject, and run down the backside of the second jump. There were only 5 girls in my moto so I grabbed my bike and finished my lap as fast as I could hoping I could still make it onto the ¼ finals. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case, I was devastated. My Canadian teammate Daina managed to make her way through the qualifying and quarterfinals making her first semi final, which was good for country points.

On to the next one.. I am looking forward to spending some time at home in Toronto preparing for the World Cup Finals in Rockhill, North Carolina in a months time. I have learned so much being in Europe for the past 3 ½ weeks, riding with some of the best girls in the world. I can’t thank my support team enough for always believing in my dreams. Until next time ☺

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