Snow Bike Festival Gstaad

For the fourth time in a row I started this year at the Snow Bike Festival in Gstaad.

This time it was a very special race for me, because it was my first mountainbike race with my own team and even two of the three stages started in front of the Park Gstaad Hotel. I had the opportunity to stay in their great hotel this year as well. Another special thing this year was, that the Park Gstaad Hotel was also present with a logo on my jersey. Of course I wanted to represent this logo during the Snow Bike Festival in the best possible way.

Stage 1: Eggli

We completed a short afternoon stage with a long ascent to the Eggli and a nice downhill on the sled run back to Gstaad. As I was not sure if I made the right tire choice for the downhill, I broke away at the beginning of the seven-kilometer climb with an aggressive riding style and fortunately I was able to constantly extend my lead until the finish. I was the only rider to finish the twenty kilometers and seven hundred metres of climbing in under an hour. This stage win showed me that I had chosen the right tires and gave me a good feeling for the long marathon stage the next day.


Stage 2: Turbachtal – Lauenensee – Gsteig

This year an extreme challenge was waiting for us riders. The organiser combined two of last year’s stages and turned them into one sixty kilometre lap. We made a loop into Turbachtal, around the Lauenensee to Gsteig.

Again, I felt great and with some smaller attacks on the first climb I brake away with three other riders. Among them was Casey South, who finished 16th in the Marathon World Championship last year. I had a lot of respect about him, because as a cross country specialist I am used to shorter races. Surprisingly I was able to break away from my competitors after only ten kilometres. But now it was still more than forty kilometres to the finish. At the beginning I didn’t ride with all my power, because I expected to be caught up by the group of three again on the long stretch to Lake Lauenen. When I still couldn’t see any of my opponents at the Lauenensee, I decided to put all my power down and ride the second half of the race at my own limit.

The final twenty-kilometre loop on the cross-country skiing slopes to Gsteig and back was a huge fight, as the snow got very wet and soft from the sun and you sank in constantly. Nevertheless, I mastered the loop without any big mistakes or running passages and reached the finish line as the winner.


Stage 3: Rinderberg – Saanenmöser - Turbachtal – Gstaad

With two stage wins so far, I wanted to win the third and final stage. We completed nearly the same stage as last year and which I was able to win it in the sprint. The start of the stage was on the Rinderberg and led by Saanenmöser and the Turbachtal back to Gstaad.

The start of this stage was considered a separate snow downhill race. Many riders raced only this part of the race. My secret goal was to win this classification as well. With maximum speeds of 93 km/h I raced down the slope with two downhillers at the front. Up to the half of the downhill it looked good, but then the snow softened and after a spectacular crash I lost a little bit the confidnce to continue to attack. So I was only the third rider at the bottom, but I already had a good lead on the other riders who who raced the whole stage to Gstaad.

For the third time in a row I started a solo run and gave everything I could. I just enjoyed pushing and torturing myself and it just felt incredible. I reached the finish line after a little over an hour, with a fabulous lead of twelve minutes. I could hardly believe it myself.


Once again it was a great event in Gstaad and I'm very happy that I could win the Snow Bike Festival again after 2018.

The race was a nice end to the January race block and gives me a lot of motivation to work really hard on myself again for the next two months. My next races will be the World E-Bike Series in Monaco in March and the Swiss Bike Cup in Rivera.

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