Xterra Czech - solid working my way up to the podium
August 8, 2015
April 5, 2017
XTERRA Germany - return to Zittau
September 2, 2015
Picture: Philip Becker - In the rock garden of Zittau
In the week after Xterra Czech and my success there, Bradley and I traveled north and visited Prag on the way. Prag is nice, but we were both eager to get back in the forest and on the trails around Zittau In For the accommodation the Squirt Lube boys set us up in a house in Oybin and it would become a very fun week there. 4 South Africans, 1 Austrian and 1 Swiss in the house made it very fun. Especially the kitchen and cooking habits from the different parts of the world were very interesting. BBQ at least is in all parts of the world the same :). Breakfast though looks very different for all of us.
The days up to the race were relaxed and we got some good training in on the course. Unfortunately a lot of the fun sections on the bike course got remodelled by the forest harvesting and with this the trails were turned into roads. The swim and the run were still the same as in the previous year at the ITU Cross-Triathlon World Championships 2014.
On race day I felt ok, I knew that there were 5 strong swimmers that potentially will work well together on the bike, and that I would be in the chase group with the strong bikers. All went as expected and after the swim I was leading the chase group out of the water.
Picture: Jana Wersch
Then bad luck strike and 400m after T1 my chain dropped and forced me to stop and fix it. With this 15sec stopp I missed the chase group, leader by Francois Carloni and catching them was impossible. I teamed up again with Pavel Adreev to make it over the flat, but in the uphill I was riding stronger them him and found myself all alone for the rest of the race. Being alone I spend a lot of energy to ride hard and I could feel that I was riding too hard in the very beginning in my attempt to catch the fast group.
After T2 my strength was ok, but I was not super strong anymore to do a big move. I had to let Pavel pass and let him go. I tried to catch Albert Soley and minimise the point difference we have in the tour. At 8km I caught up to Albert, but he did not let me pass and in the end he took 10th and me with a few seconds behind 11th. I go with mixed feeling out of this race, bummed that I had this chain problem and that I was not able to catch Albert. On the upside I am still 4th in front of Albert on the tour.
A big thank you goes to Barry and De Wet from Squirt Lube for the great time and accommodation. It was a great pleasure meeting the people behind the dry lube we all get at many Xterra and MTB races around the world. I personally use their products and can only recommend it. Thank you for your help and friendship!
Also a big thank you to all organisers, volunteers and sponsors of the O-See Challenge and Xterra Germany!