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As the natural amphitheatre of Albstadt’s Bullentale valley filled with eager spectators, down at the start line the gladiators were ready to go into a hot, fierce battle. Blood was shed aplenty – although thankfully for none of our riders – and sweat certainly flowed as the sun added extra intensity to the steep climbs of this relentless course.
Isla was first to ride into the ring. She didn’t get a great start and on a course which isn’t easy to overtake on, it made the battle tough from the outset. However, two laps in Isla found the gas pedal and started making inroads into the race, flying past riders and making her way up to within six seconds of tenth place. She looked strong, composed and ready to attack. But instead the race attacked her! On the final lap, Isla had nothing left – the tank was well and truly empty. She fought with every single ounce of energy, barely making across the finish line upright. Eighteenth place was not the result she was looking for, but as always Isla has analysed, accepted and learnt from the experience and is now ready for some rest and fine-tuning to get the final pieces of the jigsaw into place.