Rachael Archer deserves massive credit for having the courage to resume her racing in America’s GNCC WXC class, leaving safe New Zealand shores for uncertainties of overseas week before racing ‘The Bulldog’ in Georgia last weekend.
Gaining 3rd podium on Sunday, was truly icing on the cake for Rach who had taken lock-down time out with family at home on farm in Waikato, NZ.
With temperatures reaching 34 degrees, and heart-rate pumping at 184bpm, Rachael defied odds at coming out firing on all cylinders given jet lag was only 48 hours previous and she hadn’t been on her race bike for over 8 weeks.
#650: ‘Yes I arrived into the states on the Wednesday very sleep deprived having been travelling for 2 days. I had a big sleep that night and went riding the following day as I got my suspension revalved before I left and hadn’t ridden with the new stuff so had to make sure that was algood for the race on the Sunday!
‘Then I packed up and drove down to Georgia for the weekend. Ended up getting 3 hours sleep on Friday night because of jet lag and managed to get through Saturday running on excitement and caffeine. I was able to e bike the track twice and learn the lines for the race on Sunday. The night before the race I remarkably managed to get around 7 hours of sleep in which was perfect for race day’.
Battle up-front was close between top 3 riders with Rachael leading for early laps, then exchanging places with Overall points leader Becca Sheets and Australia’s Tayla Jones. It’s so close, only 79 seconds separated the top 3: Becca Sheets: 188.8.131.529, Tayla Jones: 01:51:16.019, Rachael Archer: 01:51:32.438.
Making the most of lock-down working on family farm back home, Rachael gained a different perspective on her training. Rather than press replay button on work-outs equal to speed-dial, Rach toned back the need to overdo, over-train letting her body rest, reset and gain mental clarity on what she needs most to perform on the track.
#116: ‘I knew it was going to be hot and hard work so I just made a conscious effort to keep drinking throughout the race and trying not to be aware of the fact that my body was overheating!
‘It was definitely nice to have a break and going home and was actually super beneficial for me. To be able to slow down and give myself some actual time to recover rather than going hard out everyday and overtraining all the time. I think this has really helped me over the weekend and opened my eyes a bit’.
With 3rd podium last weekend, Rachael moved up WXC table standings to 3rd Overall, consolidating consistent results of 3rd, 4th, 4th, 3rd for this season.
GNCC WXC Round 5 Camp Coker, South Carolina, May 30th-31st. Header photo: Rachael, Photo Credit: Ken Hill.
Words: Sharon Cox.