Xterra La Reunion

What a great island was my thinking when I got this invitation letter from the guys from Xterra La Reunion. The only problem was, that there was this MTB stage race in croatia only 3 days after the Xterra where we signed up in a team of two. Anyway, I asked my teammate who was supposed to race this stage race with me if its okay if I do this Xterra only 3 days before. First he was laughing, but then he said, you are young, but if you have tired legs in this MTB race afterwards its your problem. Then he said what are you waiting for, you are still young and this is a great chance to race a great race.

I signed up, managed to get all the flights sorted and went to the south again. After this 11 hours flight I was in paradise, beautiful beaches, amazing mountains, very nice people and the best homestay ever. I couldnt believe it, I was here with another athlete from Austria, together we trained and enjoyed the life here.

The sea was cristal clear, and the single trails were nice to ride, all you need for a Xterra race. The week passed by very fast, and suddenly it was sunday morning race start. We ran into the water, had to swim two laps of each 750 meter. The bike course started relaxed, it was about 4km on the flat asphalt before reaching a big and long climb. I love climbing and I caught up with the guys quickly. My hardtail was really nice on the uphills, but then I felt it on the downs, there were so many rocks and stones, definitely a course for full suspension bikes. I was already on position 4 but then after the very long downhill I was about 1:30 behind the 4th on place 5. I know Nico Sterck from racing before, and he is definitely not a slow runner. 

I always saw him some hundred meters in front of me, but the heat was tough and I couldnt close the gap. I came closer, but not close enough. The last 2km were back on the beach, littly bit sandy but quite stable. I didnt stop to push my pace, Nico looked back from time to time but kept on running very well. Finally we made it to the finish line him on the 4th me on the 5th, we were both laughing about the race because we had so much fun and he said to me:“boy thats crazy, I felt quite safe, but when I saw you pushing the pace on the last 2km I got a little bit scared about my 4th.“ What an island, what a race.

After cleaning of all my gear, packed the bike we left to the prize giving, but only a few minutes because I had to leave to the airport on the same afternoon.