Season opener of the 2019 Xterra European Tour in Cyprus.
Its my first time here in Cyprus and of course my first time in the Xterra Cyprus. The course got changed to last years one and is super fun racing on.
We arrived in Cyprus a couple of days before the race, spent our time on the course and enjoyed the island a lot. I went onto the bike course several times, it had nice and long climbs, as well as technical downhills, rock gardens and water sections- of course some single trail. The run was not as fancy, mostly flat and fast with a little bit of climbing and off-trail-feeling, but still nice for racing.
The start was at 9am and we jumped into the Cristal clear water of Paphos. As always it was a triangle course with two loops, I started a very solid pace in the beginning, but I had to take out some speed for the second loop before my arms started to explode. With two minutes back on the leaders I exited the swim.
Now the fun part started: Onto my new Scott Spark RC World Cup, I pushed it all out on the awesome bike course. I found a good speed and felt very confident from my last MTB-Races the weeks before. I was able to make up some positions, catch the guys ahead of me. I really had fun out there. I cycled to the 4th place when I suddenly crashed in the rock garden.
A lady who got overtaken decided to change the side of the single trail, as I was only short before this section- shit happened and I jumped over my handlebar. I have no idea how I did it, but I landed onto my feet, no scratches, no hits, nothing. I was sad about my bike but luckily even my bike didn’t get any pain, the only problem was the handlebar twisted sideways from the impact. I was very loose so I could turn it back, but I didn’t bring a tool to fix it. So I rode very carefully back to T2 (about 5k) downhill and at the beach over some rocky sections, very carefully of not loosing control over my bike because of the loose handlebar.
Onto the run I was in 5th position, fighting with another athlete from Denmark for the 4th spot. The podium was too far anyway so we both went for the points and the cash. We started a very solid running pace and pushed each other going faster. It was a really great competition until Jens started to attack at the last turning point (2,5km before finish). I couldn’t hold his speed anymore and had to let him go. I tried to catch up again, but in the end it was a 16 seconds gap between us.
I had the fastest run of the day in 35:11.5
I finished 5th in the first Xterra of the season and made some points for the European Tour standing. Cyprus is a great place and I might come back in future.