ETU Cross Triathlon ECS Romania

 Still in Europe? After a very interesting and long drive to the east of Europe we arrived in the beautiful old city of Targu Mures. We are here for nothing less than the European Championships of cross triathlon. I have never been to Romania before and it was interesting to see all places and people.

We stayed in a very nice little bungalow only a few meter far from the race venue. The lake was a non natural lake in the middle of a holiday village. We spend some days here for checking out all the bike and running course to know the fastest line. The bike course was a multiple laps bike course, and also on the run we had to do two laps. For this kind of racing its even more important to know the best line on the bike.

There were different starting waves for elite men and women, para, juniors and age group. It was nice because there were no people on the course that we had to overtake during the 4 laps on the bike. I was far back after the swim on place 20, came out of the water with the current Austrian Champion in cross triahtlon. We could race together for the first 5km, but then he pushed on the bike so hard that I couldnt follow. I took my own pace and kept the energy for the run. I was still pushing everything I could into my pedals, but I didnt overdo it. In the 4th and last lap on the bike I saw him again, but he was still infront. I managed to catch up some places on the bike and changed to the run on the 14th position. After about 1,5km on the run I caught him and outrun him, after that I was very motivated and focused to reach top 10. In my second loop of the run my legs were more fresh than after the biking and I was able to run a very nice pace. Some other athletes in front of me suffered from the biking. The local people were very amazed by the sport and lots of them were cheering us on during the race. In the end I finished on the 9th place and was super happy about my result. 

 

Salzkammerguttrophy MTB Race

 The Salzkammerguttrophy became already a classic race for me that I have to do every year. Its the biggest mountainbike race in Austria and very known world wide. There are 8 different distances between 210km and 22km you can choose. I always take the most technical one with more than 20% trails on 55km.

Its about a 2:30 drive from Vienna, the start was around lunchtime thats why we only drive there the same day in the morning. Like every year its raining on this day, to get the trails and forest muddy for the race. Luckily it stopped raining 10 minutes before the start and the sun came out.

Because of prior races that I did the last years I started into this one with the rae number 2 on my numberplate. After a nice little interview before the start I could start from the first line, infront of the whole pack. It was an amazing feeling to be in the front with the other fast guys. 

The race started and I was at the lead for the first 3km into the race. It was not hectic or crouded at all, all the athletes were relaxed but focused on the race. After the first few kilometer the field got stretched quite a bit and I could see who is able to race on the podium. The first two guys were amazingly fast, but just after them we were another 4 people racing together. After a while I managed to break away to the third position, but I had some navigation problems and waited a little bit for the fourth guy. He was really nice and we could race together a bit pushing each other for some speed. 

We almost raced half the race together, but when reached the top after the last long climb he did a big mistake in the downhill and I used it to attack. My legs were already a little bit tired and I couldnt get enough speed to keep the gap. He closed the gap again and we were riding together again, but this time on the last 3km flat back to the finish line. We were on position 3 and 4 and I knew that only one of us can reach the podium on this day. After a very interesting battle he managed to finish 3rd. I was the unlucky one on the 4th place, but I know that I gave everything I had on that day. Next year next chance. 

Xterra France

 Xterra France

02. July 2017

This event is the biggest Xterra event in the world and this year its the first time that I am here for racing it. I was completely amazed by the course, when I checket out the bike course for the first time I had so much fun on the trails. There was climbing, there was singletrack, there were long and technical downhill sections, there was only a little bit of fast and flat asphalt, there was grass, rocks, mud and roots, it was increddible awesome.

After that I checked out the running course, and I fas fascinated the second time. Like on the bike course only a short distance of asphalt, lots of single trails, muddy and rooty sections and a lot of up and down, really enjoyable. After that we went to the lake for a nice swim, in the beginning we thought its super cold, but then we realized how nice it was, the water was clear and fresh, and very nice to swim in.

So we did all the trip from Vienna threw Germany to France, to the little village called Xonrupt. We rented a very nice appartement for 6 people and met friends there from the Netherlands. I travelled together with Mikaela Jonsson from South Africa and it was an amazing trip for us.

The weather was not really stable in the end of June and the days before the race were sometimes sunny, sometimes rainy. The course got more wet and slippery every day.

In the morning of the race is was of course rainy, but it got better and better. We put all our bikes into the transition, prepared the running shoes for the race and dressed up with our wetsuites. The rain stopped and the racestart was perfectly bright. Hundreds of athletes were waiting for the starting shot in the water but it took some time to start the race because someone was always ahead of the line. 

When the race started it was a big mess, people everywhere, right and left, over and under me – crazy. It was a fight for the spot in the first 3 minutes. When the pack got a little bit less tight I finally found my own pace and could swim on my own for the rest of the course. It was only one big loop without a running section. I came out of the water somewhere around the 80th place, so really far back. I gave it on the bike all out, caught up lots of places and enjoyed riding a lot. 2 loops were super long and tough, and in the end I got a little bit less fast. 

When I came back to transission I was in a little pack of 3 or 4 people in the top 20 already. I knew this is going to be a tough run because of the course, and now in the pack its even tougher. I was running out of T2 in the first position and I didnt look back at all – my focus was to the front. Only like 2km in the race I looked back to check out the others and I didnt see anyone following me. This gave me the last extra punch of motivation and I kept pushing it. In the end I made up some places on the run and finished on the 11th place. I was super happy with my result and finishing close to the top 10 in the biggest Xterra in the world after more than three and a half hours of racing.