UCI E-MTB World Cup Monaco
After many riders had started their season already in February and I was still concentrating on my training, I was finally able to start this year’s season. My firs race of the season was held at a special place and it was also a special race. The UCI E-MTB World Cup in Monaco.
First race of the season, first E-MTB World Cup and my first E-MTB race. I haven't been so nervous before a race for a long time!
Besides me as XCO professional, the former World Champion and World Cup winner José Antonio Hermida, the Eliminator European Champion, the French E-MTB Champion and some strong enduro riders were at the start. Such a big and good mixture of top mountainbikers from different disciplines, which provided the base for a very exciting race.
On Friday the track inspection and the qualification were on the program. An extremely versatile and technically demanding track in the hills around Monaco was waiting for me. I see myself as a technically strong rider, but I couldn’t keep up with the downhill speed of the enduro riders.
Nevertheless, I finished the qualifying time trial in fourth place, which was surprising for me. This result took some of the pressure off me because I knew, that I could compete for a podium finish in the real race on Saturday.
Finally it was time and I started at the UCI E-MTB World Cup from the first row. However, I didn’t had a good start at all and I couldn’t keep up with the fastest riders as I wanted. Probably I chose the wrong cadence, but I quickly learned from my mistake and after a few sketchy overtaking moves I found myself in third place in a group of three. Unfortunately the first two riders were already gone and despite a determined chase and risk in the downhill and uphill sections, I rode the last four laps alone in third place.
Arriving at the finish line I could hardly believe to have achieved my first World Cup podium and was allowed to celebrate this on the podium in the evening. With a view on the famous harbour of Monaco and with my first champagne shower. A great feeling!
In conclusion, I can say that E-MTB races are a lot of fun and really hard. Now I will try to learn from the mistakes and I will try to be in front of the race already from the beginning and so I can copy the lines of the top riders in the uphill and downhill.
But first I’m going to compete in my first XCO race of the season in two weeks, at the Proffix Swiss Bike Cup in Rivera. I am already looking forward to this race!