Xterra Czech - European Championship
Updated: Aug 24
After my mountain bike got lost on the flight 2 weeks earlier on the way to Norway and I wasn't sure until 3 days before the race whether I would even get it, the stress level before the race was a bit high. I landed in Vienna on the Wednesday before the race, my bike not there. So we stopped in Linz on the way to Prachatice and picked up a brand new mountain bike for me. Pretty cool part, but I wasn't tuned into it.
We visited the route, 32km and 1000hm on the bike with a 10km trail run. The goal was in the old town of Prachatice. On the day of the race, freshly slept, we checked into T2 with our running shoes, then we went on to the lake, to T1 where we handed in our bikes. I warmed up well, did a few more sprints and went for a swim. The water was quite cold, but we still swam without neoprene. At 12 sharp the starting signal was given. More than 70 elite athletes started the race.
My swim wasn't great, but my new bike gave me extra motivation to hit the trails. I found myself on the bike route with a good friend from Belgium and we were able to accelerate together. Having made up a few places, I arrived in T2, slipped on my running shoes and tried to make up position after position. The pace was extremely high and the guys were really strong. The performance and density in Europe is increasing from year to year. With a good race but still a lot of potential, I finished 30th in the elite. I now know where the bar is. It's straight on to Germany for Xterra Germany on August 20th, where I'll attack again, the track is great.
Photo: Carel du Plessis (Xterra Media)