Posted by Editor on 03/15/08
Sam Cools Interview
Canada's Samantha Cools finished second a few minutes ago in the 10th round of the North American UCI BMX series in Florida. Arielle Martin of the USA won and Jill Kintner (USA) was third (results from the Final are posted in an earlier report). We managed to chat for a few minutes with Sam on the phone trackside, after her podium performance.
CC: Congratulations! This has to feel a lot better than yesterday, when you didn't make the Final.
SC: It is definitely much better!
CC: What was the difference, were you just able to refocus?
SC: Well, my legs are better after the flight (Cools flew in from the UCI Centre in Switzerland earlier in the week), but it wasn't just the flight. Wednesday and Thursday I spent in front of the [TV] cameras for CBC, and that took a lot out of me as well. I think my body was just telling me yesterday that it needed a day off.
I was really disappointed with myself, and I spent the time trying to flip it around. But it was tough keeping that motivation all day; we were supposed to start at 4 [pm EDT], but we didn't start until 6:30, so it was hard. But after the first lap [heat] I felt really good, and then I won the semi and had the fastest lap of the day, so I knew I was going well.
That gave me first pick of the lanes, so I picked Lane 1. I was feeling really good, motivated, I had good snap out of the gate. I wasn't sure whether to manual or jump the first obstacle, and I didn't do either, I had to pump it. I lost speed there, and lost first place. But the rest of the race was good, I was catching Ariel [Martin], and then in the final [straight] I came down on my chest ... but it was at the finish, so it was okay. I felt I could have won.
CC: You've spent the past few months at the UCI Training Centre in Switzerland, how has that made a difference?
SC: I'm noticing a big difference in every aspect of my performance, both mental and physical. You're more motivated, being isolated from distractions, and everyone who is training there, we are all there for the same goal.
CC: So what's next, do you go back to Switzerland?
SC: No, now I go to Australia for a month for the World Cup Final and some other races, then back to Switzerland for the next two European rounds, then a Super Cross and Denmark, and then the Worlds. It's a lot of racing!
CC: So how does this set you up for qualifying for Beijing [Olympics]?
SC: It's not set in stone, we still have the Worlds before the country quotas are decided, but we are 90 points ahead of the next country, so I'm definitely more comfortable.
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