Zimmer picked for U.S. biking team
LINCOLN/QUEBEC — Mountain biker Alison Zimmer of Lincoln said that the outcome of her race at the UCI Downhill World Cup race in Mount Saint Anne, Quebec, this past weekend was not so awesome. But she did have an awesome development in her professional biking career, nevertheless.
USA Cycling last Friday announced that Zimmer would be one of 16 riders on the U.S. downhill team at the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, which will run Sept. 2-7 in Hafjell, Norway. Zimmer, who races for the Gravity Racing-Xprezo team, was one of only two elite women chosen for the team. Zimmer was thrilled to get the news.
“This was totally unexpected,” she said.
Zimmer has until Aug. 8 to accept the spot on the team and because of the cost and because she is in the midst of starting up her own physical therapy business and caring for her daughter she was not certain she could make it to the world competition.
“I am trying to figure out the logistics of how I can go to Norway,” she said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, especially since I will be semi-retiring from racing next year, and downhill racing will be minimal. If I decide to go I am going to set up a Kickstarter/Indiegogo fundraiser to help out.”
Zimmer was named to the team because she was first in Pro GRT rankings as of Aug. 1 because of strong performances this summer.
In Quebec last weekend she did not have the level of success she had hoped for. In the qualifying race she was called off the course because a rider was down in front of her and she got an automatic re-start in the race. But she didn’t get to do that race until after all the pro men biked through their qualifiers. It meant a two-hour delay in which the track became much muddier and more chewed up, plus, Zimmer said, “it rained a bunch on the top of the mountain before my second run, and the track was in super bad condition.”
When she finally did her qualifying run, Zimmer crashed twice, losing time in each crash. She got the wind knocked out of her but said she was lucky to only sustain bruises and a sprained thumb. She ended up in 26th place, but only 20 women qualified for the final.
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