Courtesy of Sharon Cox
Rachael Archer races with all guns blazing finishing GNCC WXC Opening Round at Big Buck 3rd on podium. Fiercely determined to gain upper-hand in points table early in the Series, Rachael has certainly sent strong message to all that the Kiwi is in to win!
Fresh off rest, re-set and off-season preparations back home over NZ’s summer, Rachael is ready to pounce on any opportunity to gain leverage against the competitive WXC field, battling top female riders for position on tracks which Rachael is familiar with.
And it doesn’t take much to gauge the level of determination within the 18 year old, when push comes to shove Rachael ranks up there with the best of them- in only her 2nd full WXC season.
#650: ‘Awesome weekend at Big Buck. The dirt was on point, tacky and perfect ruts everywhere. I got off to a good start 3rd around the first corner and headed into the woods behind Kenz, Tricker and Tayla Jones’.
‘I knew I needed to get past Kenz quickly before Tayla got too far ahead but it was really hard to pass and Kenz was holding her spot. Becca Sheets was on my ass and made a quick pass on Kenz at about 3 miles which I tried to follow but clipped a tree stump and slowed down a little so I didn’t crash. I wasn’t able to pass Kenz but Rachel Gutish got past when this happened’.
‘Now Becca and Tayla and Rachel Gutish were out of sight and I knew I could run their pace but I was still trying to find somewhere to pass. Finally I got past and put my head down for a lap to catch them which didn’t take long. I was able to get past Gutish and then a lap later catch Tayla in a muddy section where I past her’.
‘Then it was all on and Tayla and I battled back and fourth for about a lap and a half. I was still in front on the last lap with a mile to go and one of my team pointed a line to me but I was so focused I missed it’.
‘Tayla saw it and took it and got past me. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get back in front and had to settle for 3rd which annoyed me because it was my own fault but at least I won’t do that again and I know what I need to work on!
It’s mighty result for Opening Round, one which confirms Rachael’s belief that she has WXC Champion quality, be-it sooner rather than later in her career. And, she’s one to assess what worked, what can go, and what’s to focus on in preparation for WXC Round 2 in Florida in 2 weeks time.
#650: ‘Overall it was probably one of the best races I’ve had and I loved the track. Bike was absolutely awesome and my Dunlop tyres were hooking up mad!!’
With tweaks to nutrition, Rachael is really fine-tuning race strategies not just physically but mentally as well. For any WXC rider who thinks Rachael will be satisfied with nothing but best possible result, may well need to protect their own line come rest of WXC Series.
#650: ‘I’ve changed up my nutrition in the last few months. Working with my coach Geoff on all the little things is really making a noticeable difference to my performance. They better watch out because I’ll be coming in Florida!
GNCC WXC Round 2 Wild Boar, Florida March 7- 8th.