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FROM THE TEAM:
The team left one unprecedented weather event in Spain for another on the opposite spectrum: a severe drought in the Western Cape of South Africa. Population growth, inadequate surface water management, and a thriving agricultural industry have all led to massive shortages of water and an impending shut-off date for taps in Cape Town itself. The team spent the week in nearby Stellenbosch, a destination for outdoor enthusiasts and region known for wine, good food, and good trails. All residents and visitors are required to keep their water use to under 50 liters per day. So the team committed to waterless bike “washes” while in South Africa and started clocking shower times (Jerome won at 27 seconds and we probably averaged around a minute of water runtime per shower).
But the real competition was the first round of the Mercedes Benz Mountain Bike World Cup. In the Women’s Elite race, Chloe steadily picked her way through most of the field after a near crash at the start to finish in 12th, just 2 minutes and 55 seconds down on race winner, Annika Langvad.
“When I look at the breakdown of my lap times ,” says Chloe (the women raced six laps on the 4.8 km course), “I almost don’t recognize the racer. I’ve often fallen off pace in the final laps of racing. I usually don’t get faster as the race goes on. In all, it’s a good sign that I’ve been healthy and able to put in some solid training blocks…”
With her finish, Chloe earned 85 UCI points and jumped 12 spots in the ranking up to 47th. A major goal of hers is to be ranked in the Top-40 for World Cup #2 so she can race the very first XCC, or short track race. She’s well on her way with her solid performance at Stellenbosch.