Swiss Bike Cup Savognin
On a completely new course in Savognin the third race of the Proffix Swiss Bike Cup took place on Sunday. Although the track with the steep climbs was not quite tailored to my rider profile, I felt very good on Friday and Saturday on the track inspection and was confident for the international C1 race.
In practice I got up the steep climbs without any problems with my 36t chainring from Wolftooth Components. For race day I played it safe and mounted a smaller chainring. This gave me smaller gears and the ability to ride at a higher cadence. Because of the eMTB races, I got used to a higher cadence on the climbs.
It was a great feeling that I could lead the race for almost one lap together with the current leader of the Proffix Swiss Bike Cup.
At 2:15 p.m., the race started in the middle of the village. I prepared myself for a fast start and fights for position. As expected, the pace was very fast until the first right-hand bend, but after that it slowed down a bit. By chance I accelerated exactly at this moment to make up some positions on the left side of the field. Suddenly I found myself in the front row and so I used my speed to attack the last meters of the climb and to enter the first downhill with full risk.
There I was able to open a small gap to my competitors. At this point I was also aware that physically I am not yet on the same level as the world’s best XCO athletes, but I took the chance to conquer the first two steep climbs with a regular riding style. There I was still in my comfort zone, but when Andri Frischknecht caught up to me on the last climb before the long and technical descent towards the finish and pushed the pace, I probably went a bit too much into the red to keep his back wheel. Smartly I should have gone through my own pace there, but at the current moment it felt very good and I hoped to get an extra advantage with a renewed attack in the technical downhill and put my opponents under pressure. As they say – NEVER STOP BELIEVING – and it was exactly with such an intuitive action that I was able to win my first international elite race a little less than a year ago.
Unfortunately, I then realized that I had invested too much energy in the first lap. Fortunately, although the race took place at about 1200 m.a.s.l., I managed to recover a bit in the second and third lap and to keep up a relatively constant pace until the end. I also didn’t run out of energy in the two final laps as I did in the last two races, and in retrospect I already rate that as a success and a step in the right direction.
Of course I had hoped for more after my start, but I’m still very happy that after an intensive training week and two weeks after I broke my toe, I was able to finish in the World Cup points again with a 15th place. However, I know that there is more to come in terms of results and so I am looking forward to the next races. The next few weekends will be one after the other and I hope that the hard and long training sessions in the last few weeks have paid off.
Although I had to pay a little bit for my fast start, I was really happy that two weeks after I broke my toe I was able to race into the World Cup points again.