An Update From Katy Winton After a Brutal Crash at EWS Olargues, France
How were you feeling leading up to the race?Not great, the Tuesday the week before I picked up the start of a cold and so was sleeping 10 hours a night then a nap in the day too just trying to fight it off. I'd had a busy couple of weeks moving back home from New Zealand, then from home to a new place, then raced a UK enduro... I had been a bit too busy and I was paying for it.
What happened on Day 1? How did you manage to drop stuff? And what happened on Stage 3?Day 1 started with me nipping for a wee and my jacket fell out from between my bib shorts and my back where I keep it. It was in deep grass so I didn't hear it fall. Becky Cook saw it in the grass. Then on the way to Stage 2, I put my goggles on my helmet and wedged my cheek pads from my helmet in between the goggle strap and my helmet. I think when I took my helmet off when I was pushing my bike that the goggles must have got knocked off, in turn taking the cheek pads with them. So random, I couldn't believe it. Just lucky, Eddie, Richie and Remi saw them and kindly brought them up.Stage 3, I had a good stage then punctured 5m from the finish, I plugged the tyre with help from Ines, but the tyre was having trouble seating onto the small dent in the rim. I tried, but my hands aren't physically strong enough to get the FTD and tyre off quickly, so I had to think fast weigh up my options and decided I needed to get back to the pits ASAP or I'd miss my start time for Stage 4.
Did you ride the enter liaison between stage 3 and 4 on a flat tire? Was it a detour to ride to the pits for a tire change?Yes, all 5km of it max effort on a flat. The FTD was great though and provided a good platform to pedal along on. It wasn't a detour to the pits though, I just didn't have all that much time. My mechanics were quick and efficient though and got me sorted, hell of a team. Lucky to have them because I nearly passed out from the effort of getting there, I had pins and needles all over my body had to lie down, threw up and couldn't get my breath back.
How did Cecile end up pushing you?Because Cecile is a great human and saw a mate struggling. Between the girls there is a mutual respect. I think I can say the same about most of the guys as well. These races are SO savage. We've all been through a lot together. We all know how brutal it is to get through one of these races never mind a whole season - the highs, the lows and all of the emotions. It's one hell of an experience and one we share together. If we didn't look out for each other in the hard times and have a laugh along the way in the good times and enjoy the buzz together from riding amazing tracks, then what would be the point in all the suffering? Victory is lonely, but with these experiences, good people around you and the stories along the way, now, that's what makes it memorable. Cecile stayed with me at the end of Stage 3 to help me with my puncture, but then when I had to ride she went out of her way and stayed with me and would physically push me when my effort would start to fade. She went above and beyond. I didn't think I would make it but she was there to encourage me and push me on. What an absolute machine, can't thank her enough! When I made it to Stage 4 the rest of the girls were cheering me the last bit of the way, big love to them all!
What happened on Stage 7?I had a big crash in the main chute of the stage and smacked my head really, really hard destroying my helmet. It was pretty scary, actually. I got to ride down behind Cecile for the rest of the stage though which was actually so awesome!
How is your head doing now?Well, I managed to pick up a stomach bug so I woke up for throwing up etc. at 2 am, then more in the morning so I felt like death all morning and didn't eat anything until dinner time where I had a small bite. (This is some interview, haha!! Honestly, my life isn't usually this eventful!!) My head is feeling good though all things considered, but I will be taking the week off, with no/minimal screen time and very low if any exercise. These injuries shouldn't be taken lightly. So that's over and out from me!Get well soon Katy! MENTIONS: @trek @mdelorme