Salzkammerguttrophy Track D
Route D "all mountain" as always. Having competed at the SKGT often enough, I am one of the experienced riders. Nevertheless, there are always surprises for me as the route varies over the years. This year there was 60km and 2000hm to cover, I particularly like route "D" here, because the proportion of trails here is higher than in the longer or shorter routes. With starting number 6, I'll start in Bad-Ischl. My goal was to finish in the TOP 10. I had to hold myself back. The pace was extremely high again - right from the start. The boys (and girls) push the pace and push the pedals. With perfect weather (for the first time without rain for me) it goes quickly. The starting field stretched until the first real climb of 500m. Ride in front? That's only half good. Wait for the others? No, I have nothing to give away. So I was in a good 13th place, with my teammate just behind me. We rode the first mountain together, down the downhill. There I showed off my good technique and was able to gain a few meters and seconds. In the next climb, this time got a little longer and steeper. The first bottle was empty after an hour, but I didn't want to stop at the rennet, because shortly afterwards my supervisor was there and handed me my bottle with my drink and lots of carbohydrates.
According to the motto "hydration = key", the second bottle was empty pretty quickly. I was able to make up a few places. I then found myself at the highest point in the race after 1800 meters in altitude, in 9th place. The competition was not far behind me. Then it was a long downhill, a few short climbs and finally another 9 km on the level back to Bad-Goisern. I was able to extend my lead a bit, but there was no one in front of me far and wide. A few km from the finish I felt a cramp in my left leg, but it never went away - but I couldn't really go up the pace anymore either. It was just really, really, really hot. I was caught 1km from the finish, my leg cramps. I pushed on it and bit through again, was able to close the hole and was on the competitor's rear wheel. Shortly before the finish he launched an attack, but I went out of my cover, passed him on the left and won the sprint finish for 9th place. It was amazing and the mood at the finish was inspiring. I was very happy to deliver an “almost” perfect race in these hot conditions. Thanks to my strong teammates in 11th and 33rd place, we were able to secure 3rd place in the team ranking. This spectacle (biggest MTB event in Austria) will definitely be back in my calendar in 2023.