Xterra Czech - solid working my way up to the podium
August 8, 2015
April 5, 2017
Tnatura Cross Triathlon European Championships 2014
June 2, 2014
Living the dream is incredible. The day after Xterra Spain I traveled from Alicante to Basel and with only a 3 hours stop at home, back to the airport straight to Olbia. This gave me just enough time to re-stock the Dextro powder and replacing some fresh cloths to the suite case. My new race machine was already on its way with Peter Naegeli and I was looking forward to finally see the fully assembled beast. Big thank you to Cedric Bregnard for your support building up the two bikes for this season and teaching me all the mechanical tricks - very valuable knowledge… I hope I will never use them ;).
Arriving late in Olbia, no shuttle waiting for me, I decided to rent a car. Renting a car in Italy - there is only one choice - FERRARI! No, just kidding, my budget allowed me to rent an as stylish but little less fast Fiat 500. So shirt collar up, espresso in the blood and off I drove.
A full week of training in paradise prior the race; great hotel, awesome weather and the best friends around me. Had the great honor to stay with the Aloha racing team girls Renata Bucher and Maud Golsteyn. plus being joined by more athletes; Lars Erden, Kathrin Müller, Ladina Buss, Karin Hansen, Peter Naegeli, Rory Downie and Nienke Oosta - what a fine elite group we had there!
Having lots of many good training sessions and good food the race preparation could have not been better.
Race day was a strange mix of routine and nervousness for me. Already knowing the race from two years ago, I had my little special tricks. Nothing better than 1.5l cool water in your neoprene wile the others are suffering around you in the heat during the 30min elite athlete start procedure.
The 1.5k swim was very fast, Ballerini swimming an insane pace in the front and myself nearly making the first chase pack behind him. After the two lap swim I found myself in 7th position and with a quick change on the bike I made in the first chase group. On the first hill I could already see Jarrich van Woersem and the others in no-mans land distance behind Ballerini and only 2k later passing Rory in the flat moving now up to 3rd place. The bike pace was very quick. I calculated that race pace a bike loop would take about 45min, the pace now was more a 39min per loop and Kris Coddens being even faster! Throughout the entire bike I was racing in 3rd to 6th position, chasing the Italiens down, but then being over taken by the Belgian’s. Just before T2 the Austrian Michael Szymoniuk overtook me, but in tradition I could pass him again. From there on we ran together the 10k, he always about 10m behind me. At the first turnaround I could see the top 2 guys, only about 400m ahead of me. I gave it my best, but that was only matching their speed and Jan Kubicek came from behind, passing me and going on to finish 4th. On the last kilometer I could feel that my position was not save yet, and yes there was the Italian Mattia De Paoli moving up. With a final kilometer in full speed I finished 6th. I am very happy being back racing Elite after so many years. Big Congrats to the new European Champion Kris Coddens and his incredible bike performance, with only one pedal in the end! bronze medal goes to one of the most respected in the field Jim Thijs - I very happy for you!
Our fine Elite training camp group was blessed with many top results, Kathrin Müller taking the female European Champion title, Renata being second. Ladina Buss winning overall in the age group race, Karin Hansen winning her age group, and Peter Naegeli winning his age group!
Now I am looking forward to the next Xterra’s to come soon and in August traveling to Zittau racing at the ITU World Championships.