This race followed a pretty full on week… Continuing all day Saturday, Sunday was a 4:00 am alarm and a half hour later, we were already on the way to Kirchzarten for the Black Forest Ultra
Usual procedure: get start number, checks, battery check for my heart rate monitor, which wasn’t working today … and finally, …. to the start!
Since we started with the men, it was a pretty fast pace at the beginning!
Janine pushed powerfully on the gas and I had to let her go, she was just too fast!
I rode for a while along with Sabine Spitz but when it finally went into the climb I increased the pace a bit, because I wanted to close the gap to Janine. I succeeded, and I could simultaneously show Spitz what I had but she did not respond!
Janine and I rode together for a while, and I couldn’t really support her. On the flat and slowly rising climbs as well on the descents, I had to push on the pedals, because she set a tremendous pace! She just kept kicking again and again!
On the descent to Altglashuetten I lost the cover of my „Mechbox“ and adapter for CO2 cartridges! That was very unfortunate and risky, in the event of a puncture, I couldn’t sort the problem, fill the tyre again and continue !
At the next opportunity in Altglashütten, I called Erich to have a pump ready along with my Bidon.. I had already thought how I could handle both problems without losing contact with the group…. Janine was still riding powerfully and I matched the pace, even if it was a little too fast for my liking.
Then came a steep section into which we rode in together. I had the better rhythm, and this time things had changed, she could not keep up. When it got a little flatter, I took some speed out and thought that she would open up again. She did not come.
I came to the third board, where I stopped and I could take a Bidon and the pump! It was reassuring to get all the things I needed and I could confidently manage problems from now on.
I tried to close the gap to the two men who were with me. I rode alone for a while, which is always stupid, because you have no clue how fast you are traveling! At some point a group arrived, probably from a later start block, they rushed past since I could not ride long, they were simply too fast!
Next I came to Aftersteg, here is the „Alpe de Fidlebrugg“. This is a steep climb with tons of spectators who really scream you! That’s just great and gave me an EXTRA -BOOST which fired me up and carried me along in the following kilometres!
Over time, however, we formed a trio, one of which more disturbing than helpful! In these situations, my main concern is not getting into the slipstream, it’s much more about not having to suffer alone and not getting into PROBLEMS!
„Together“ we drove to the finish and it was never really clear how many kilometres there were because the GPS track and the panels on the course did not match….
The last long climb really had it all, and on top of this, the following short climbs were not without their challenges! I had a lot of respect for the Hofgrund climb, which I remember very well from last year. That was really tough, so tough that I had forgotten the following short climbs, or were they NEW? I really don’t know!
When finally the sign with 108km appeared, it should have been only 1km to the finish, but we were still far far from the line!
Since Erich told me the last split time, Spitz was only just 1.50 min behind me in Todtnau. I really accelerated again, because I did not want to give up the victory now!
Instead of this one last kilometer, there were actually still 6 more kilometres to go !! That makes a huge difference at this stage in the race especially since it didn’t just go down hill!!!!
Nevertheless, I was able to successfully defend my victory of 2018 and finally had a lead to second place of almost 8 minutes.Janine finally took 3rd place.
My reward? An invitation in Kirchzarten to the VIP LOUNGE, where there were drinks, fine food and this time even a jacuzzi! How cool is that?!?! MANY THANKS!
Thank you Erich for getting up so early this Sunday once again and looked after me so well making sure that everything was prepared just perfectly.
As we made our way home the adventure continued, according to the trip computer in the van we had 6km to go before the tank was empty! This is how we roll!
Needless to say we made it to the gas station and home to end a long and amazing day!