Barely registering on Friday evening….
On Saturday, I made a training ride and only that evening, I remembered that I could have ridden on the Saturday marathon race in Bad-Säckingen… but it is what it is, and this is actually good. It has been a week of full-gas school work after taking over lessons from Doris, it just had to be like this.
Anyway, I decided in the morning that I could actually go by bike to Hochdorf. It showed a distance of 40km and 2 hours, so I set off. I made good progress and was there after 1.5h. I decided to make a little extra loop to stretch my legs. After getting the start number, I was able to do one more lap on the course so I knew at least what to expect.
Then finally after the earlier junior races it was our turn. First, the elite men, then the amateur / master, then the juniors and finally elite women ….
Being already at the start, I was a little surprised as I could take the lead… I didn’t expect this as the “boys” are usually faster than me!
So I took the lead in the first lap, which means riding in the wind, because the track is very flat. When I finally came to the feed station, I also wanted to first in the trail. Before the feed stop I had decided that I wanted to let the others lead, they should still be on my back wheel after the flat section!
But then when I went to begin the second lap, I was already alone. I tried to put a lot into the ride, especially in this area, because this was a great training for the race in Solothurn and Singen.
Things were going smoothly and I was able to extend the lead lap by lap, but then in the 4th of 5 laps I suddenly could not change gear any more, I had the second smallest gear and nothing else!! I tried to remember how I could correct this problem …. but nothing worked. On top of this, the Tech Zone was almost a full lap away!
I checked the simple things with the electronic shifters.. the plugs were connected….. all good at least in the front….. When I was finally back on the finish line I had to come up with something because I couldn’t continue in this fashion. I could see myself having to give up the race as a DNF…..
Finally, I found a plug that had come apart. After a few tries I managed to fix the problem so that the gears worked and I could get on with the race.
Whist I was sorting this out, three women had passed me and the problem had caused a big gap of 50 seconds to the leader. In this way, the crappy problem was managed but it looked like a win, or even a podium was out of the question….. My frustration was actually firing me up and I kicked on…. I gave everything and in fact I overtook the 3rd, then 2nd…. Fränzi was still in front of me with the race in the final stage and the track was playing against me. I came closer to Fränzi, but soon we changed to singletrack. I had to go past her before this happened! Still on the small climb up to the Feed Zone, she was in front of me! I gave everything, legs and lungs burned and I had only one goal to open up to her and overtake….
Then at the Feed Zone, I closed and had her… I absolutely had to take a drink, so I took the bidon from Erich, took a sip of Sponsor drink to have enough power in the final metres to the finish line….
I just hope the electronic shifter problem wouldn’t strike again…….
Everything held together and I came in with a small lead after recovering from a gap of 50 seconds due to the initial shifting problem…. I really think I earnt this win!
Congratulations also to my fellow competitors! Thanks also to the organization and the great spectators at the edge of the track !! It’s always nice to listen to shouts of your name !! That motivates and does not let us rest our legs, even if they burn!
Next weekend will be in Solothurn at “Bikedays” and then the competition will be much bigger !! Let’s see how it goes and what I can do there !! I will definitely do my best!