Courtesy of Sharon Cox
Rachael Archer has proved formidable opponent in her debut year racing America’s Grand National Cross-Country Series WXC class finishing Final Round at Ironman Raceway 2nd on podium to take 4th Overall in 13 Round Championship.
That’s quite something at 17 years of age! And quite super special from teenager growing up on a farm in NZ’s Waikato- where shifting stock, fencing, clearing scrub, and chopping wood is more the norm- and oh slot in school!
For Racheal is unique in her own right. Not everyday does New Zealand witness a young Woman rider putting it all out there to fulfill deep desire to race. And not just any race over familiar cross-country tracks around NZ. These tracks in USA are tough, with events established from decades of racing where riders have tested and refined endurance skills through-out many seasons.
#650: ‘The Final Round of the GNCC Series was held at Crawfordsville, Indiana. It rained all day and all night Saturday and the track looked like a lake. Start straight was completely under water and no one was able to get out and bike the track as it was just thick mud’.
‘These types of races tend to suit me as it really separates the tougher riders. It was a really physical race and line choice was key. I got a crap start but got into 5th quickly and by the end of the first lap I was in 2nd’.
‘Scoping out some good lines on the first lap I was leading the race with a 30 sec gap by lap 2 and 3 but crashed on lap 3 and sprained my ankle. I also had to pit before lap 4 and that’s when Becca and Kenz caught back up. They got passed and I stayed with them. I made a mistake and they got away’.
‘I got to work and used everything I had and caught Becca and passed her straight away. Kenz was a bit further ahead but I caught her quickly and the battle was on for the last 6 miles. I almost got passed but not quite and had to settle for 2nd!’
With such huge learning curves banked from racing 2019 WXC 13 Round Series, Rachael is primed to ‘bring on’ 2020 WXC Championship all guns firing. Confidence has reached new levels. If you think back to first couple of WXC Rounds where Rachael and Team were still ironing out how to manage bike set-up, management of fuel, pit-stops and line choice- Rachael together with AmPro Yamaha Race Team have achieved giant leaps forward heading into new season.
#650: ‘The last 4 races have been quite experimental for me trying to work out the best strategies and set-up for next year. I feel a lot more confident after the last round now’.
‘I have learnt soo much this year and it’s all good knowledge for 2020. I knew Ironman was gonna be a good race. I just had a good feeling and you always perform better if you feel confident’.
‘The best thing about riding for AmPro is the experience and knowledge around me. There isn’t a question that goes unanswered and I can rely on everyone to help make my ride the best possible’.
To say Rachael inspires all is an understatement. How easy is it to think what could be achieved racing America’s premier GNCC Series, then to actually put everything together, race the Series and stand on the podium! Rach is to be admired.
#650: ‘To any young athlete I would say hard work always beats talent when-ever talent doesn’t work hard. But it also takes a lot of sacrifice – social life, nutrition, psychological, strength. You can’t just rely on one thing if you’re gonna be a World Champion’.
GNCC WXC Ironman Raceway Highlights RacerX TV: