Swiss Bike Cup Leukerbad
From last season I didn’t have good memories of the race in Leukerbad. Although I trained well during the corona-racebreak, I was even overlapped at the race. The disappointment was huge! But the regular readers of my news know that this race also meant a decisive turning point for me. After this disappointment I finally found back to my usual relaxedness and was able to build up my self-confidence with every further race.
Before this year’s race I knew that I still had a score to settle with Leukerbad. In addition, the weather meant well with me, because it was cold and from the morning snow/rainfall the course was really slippery. Perfect for me!
With the above-mentioned confidence and a my plan, I started the race. Thanks to a perfect start, I put myself at the front of the race before the long and steep climb. Never before I’ve led a race with such a strong starting field.
My plan was: Go into the steep climbs in the front positions and then ride my own pace. I was aware that I would be overtaken again and again by stronger and also over-motivated riders, but I didn’t let myself demotivate and tried to use my energy in a controlled way. Since the race took place at altitude, good pacing was even more important. My plan worked out perfectly and I even felt so good that I was able to make up positions before the technical sections and play to my strengths as a good technician there.
So I was between 10th and 15th position for the whole race. In the last lap I had to go to my limit and fight against cramps. So I lost my temporary top-10 position, but the rider from England was just too strong in the last lap. Even a lot of risk in the downhill was not enough to close the gap.
After I had a bad race in Leukerbad last year and I was even overlapped by Nino Schurter, I still had a score to settle with the track this year.
11th place in a "worldcuplike" starting field, on a climbing course & at altitude: Sometimes I like to surprise myself!
Really happy I crossed the finish line in Leukerbad in 11th place in the middle of the world’s best XCO riders. Two podiums in Monaco a week ago and now this result, I think there is no better “motivation boost” for the two UCI XCO World Cup races in Albstadt (GER) and Nove Mesto (CZE), which are on the schedule in the next two weeks.