Swiss Championships XCO Gstaad
After the last two demotivating World Cup races, in which I had to start far back, I was looking forward to the XCO Swiss Championships in Gstaad. There I could start with the number 18 in the third row and nothing stood in the way of a good result.
The above mentioned point and that the race took place in the Bernese Oberland motivated me even more. So I started on the extremely fast and dry track at 14:15 in my second Elite Swiss Championship. At last year’s Swiss Championship it was enough for a top-20 result (18th place) and this year I wanted to finish in the top-10.
The start was great and as planned I was able to position myself in the top-10. In Gstaad a good start is extremely important, because there is always a 1.5km long straight after the start/finish passage and it’s practically impossible to make up positions alone.
Until the last lap everything went as planned, I could really race at my limit, I only had to invest some energy twice to close a gap on the long flat part and I always had a good position in the decisive technical parts.
When I went on the last lap together with three other riders, I already noticed that my legs were slowly not turning so well and they were cramping up. I took another big sip from my bottle of COMPETITION from Sponser Sport Food, took a deep breath and still tried to attack in order to break away from my opponents and secure my top-10 result. However, right on the next climb came the counterattack of the other riders and I had no chance to react. I decided to ride at my own pace and with a little risk maybe close the gap again in the following downhill. So it happened that I slipped away in an extremely fast meadow curve and landed very ungently in the tapes. I needed a few seconds to refocus, straighten my handlebars and also straighten the rear derailleur.
So quickly my fight to catch up with the front riders turned into a fight not to lose my current good 13th place. Despite shifting problems, a malfunctioning fork lock-out and ripped grips, I fortunately managed to keep this position. At the finish I didn’t really know if I should be satisfied with this result or not.
Already last year an international race took place in Gstaad. For the Swiss Championship, the organizers have optimized the course again and added a new technical part.
I'm not completely satisfied with the result, but it felt great to finally be able to race at the limit again until the end and fight with my opponents for every position.
So I didn’t quite achieve my goal of a top-10 result, but until the last lap and my crash I was always in a group fighting for a top-10 finish. Accordingly, 13th place is still a small success for me and I can look back on my race with pride. Now I will work on keeping up with my opponents in the decisive last lap or even distancing myself from them with an attack.
Next weekend there is already the second UCI E-XCO World Cup in Bologna. Since my two second places in Monaco I could make another step forward and my goal there will be to get my first World Cup victory on the e-bike.