Xterra Czech - solid working my way up to the podium
August 8, 2015
April 5, 2017
Zittau ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships
August 17, 2014
What an honor to represent my country colors in the Elite race at the 2014 2014 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in Zittau, Germany this past weekend.
A dream came true to be selected for this race after the European Championships in Sardegna. Since then I focused all on the Xterra races in August. Downed all trainings to make space for mountain biking on slippery trails, with lots of roots and big boulders, just like the course would be in Zittau. The course was exactly the same a last year and so I had some advantage knowing what to expect. In the recon laps I prepared my general race strategy and I knew that I had to make the group around Yeray, Ruben and Francois to have maybe a chance to minimize the swim leeway I will get on the top guys out of the water.
The race was packed with the best name of the cross and on-road triathlon world. On the starting line 80 guys with only one thing on their mind - RACE ON!
I lined up with my allotted number 45 on the very right hand side next to Otto and had 125m to the first right turn buoy a good starting spot. The start came very quick without any big announcement and even faster was the pace. At the buoy Conrad gave me a hard hit and I had a even harder time to follow the lead pack. At 500m I felt like I was dead last in the swim, so I looked back and was so happy that there were still some guys behind me. After the first lap I was pleasantly surprised that I was in the chase group with exactly all the guys I was planning to be; Ruben 5m ahead, Francois and Yeray next to me. So all good onto the next lap of swimming and staying on to that group. Otto in the front destroyed us all and made it first out of the water. T1 all good and I made it into the group I was hoping for. The first 9km in Zittau are on very wide road and some tarmac, which make it very fast and little challenging. At 9km Yeray was unlucky and lost his pedal. 11km into the race I overtook Faris Al-Sultan, struggling with the mud. Wow, not many can write in their little blog that they overtook Faris on the bike in their racing career. The weather did everything it could to turn the course into a mud fest. Many racers went down hard and many unlucky friends on the side of the course trying to fix their bikes. Zittau is a mountain bikers course and no matter how fast you swim you need to know riding dirt to stay up. In the last and very tricky downhill I caught up to Branden Rakita, now I knew that I was onto something. In T2 I could just see how Brice Daubord and Jan Kubicek left transition, Branden still a few second ahead of me I was determined to give it all on the run. I ran as hard as I could, fighting with Bradley Weiss 15second behind me matching my pace. I could here the people cheering for me and then for him, always with the same time difference.
Arriving at the finish line I crossed as 16th, very happy with the race and my first participation on this level in a cross triathlon world championship race.
Congrats to Ruben Ruzafa and Kathrin Müller wining the ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion title!
As for the Swiss Team we can be very proud of:
Renata Bucher taking 7th in the Elite race.
Peter Naegeli winning the 60-65 AG
Karin Hansen winning the 35-39 AG
Franziska Peier taking 2nd in the 30-34 AG
Yann Rithner taking 8th in the 35-39 AG
Congrats to you all!
Now back to training and getting ready for the next few Xterras!