Pal takes on World's Best in Columbia
Coming into the World Championships this year I felt really good. Lots of sessions at my Coach’s track Luke Madill definitely got me prepared. The trip to Colombia was a long one. 30+ hours of flying, arriving at the hotel at 2am wasn’t the best as we had our first practice session on the newly built track that morning at 8am.
First practice session went well, just focusing on the little things. The air was very thin as we were more than 1500m above sea level, which made it difficult to breathe at sometimes. Second practice session the next day was better, perfecting my gates and getting the track dialed for racing.
Race day came around and it had been raining all night the day before. The track was very soft and boggy and changes had to be made. We arrived at the track before 7am and sat around till 11am before a decision was made about racing. A decision was made, we had 1 warm up lap and then straight into a 2-moto transfer. I finished with a 3rd and 2nd in the motos, which transferred me to the 1/8th final. My eighth final was stacked with the former World Champ and World no. 7 on my inside. I had a good gate and held my line. I sat in 2nd all the way just getting passed at the end for 3rd. My 1/4 final came around, I missed the gate and was mid pack and got shut down on the second straight and fell behind. This cost me being able to qualify for the semi final.
Overall I’m happy with how I was riding and to know I’m sitting somewhere in the top 32 in the world is going to keep me working at it. I know the areas I need to work on, just need to keep focused on the little things to get those boxes ticked off. Thanks to Mum & Dad for everything they do for me, Cam at Crisp Bros Racing for supporting and keeping me dialed on the track & my coach Luke Madill for the preparation and support leading up to the event, wouldn't be here without him and everyone in the grandstands supporting.
Lleyton Pal #77 | Image courtesy of UCI