I did a Danish race this sunday at the same time, the World Cup in Czech Republic was running. The race was a stress-free and easy test of my ribs, only three weeks after the accident. And what a relief and joy! I was able to race, with no pain or breathing troubles!.. This means I’m ready for the last World Cup in France before the end date of the Olympic Qualification.
Thanks to some solid training during the winter, my form has not vanished during my break from being in the game. Actually I felt fresher than normally and my heart race was easily hitting higher levels (which unfortunately doesn’t mean, that my poweroutput equally is higher. Then I’m sure, I would take three weeks off before every World CUp ;)) On the downside, the fatigue was setting in sooner in the race, but that didn’t make any influence on the result!
The race was exiting in the way, that my / our goal was to collect as many UCI-points as possible. The ideal outcome being Rikke, Helle and me taking the three top positions and therefore score maximal points. The only obstacle was our yellow-blue neighbors (Sweden), who had send one of their female riders to mess up our plan. At this very moment, exactly Denmark, Sweden and Hungary are the countries fighting for the very last of the few spots at the Olympic Games!
We had talked some tactics before the race, since swedish Åsa Erlandsson is a rider not to count out. Well, it was quite simple: my job would be letting my fellow countrymen, Helle and Rikke, get the greatest possible lead, before I would drop Åsa to claim the last spot on the podium.
One thing is planning, another thing is executing 😉 The start went absolutely perfect! We hit the narrow singletrack ( where overtaking was difficult ) with Rikke and Helle in first and second position, me in third with Åsa on my rearwheel. The 29’er-girls in front of me was working hard, doing their best, leaving me with a very grateful feeling. While the plan ran smoothly, all the sudden, Rikke dropped her chain and had to stop to put it back on! Oh no! Hit by bad luck. Åsa found her way around all of us and all the sudden the scenary had changed. Helle had got away in front, but now Åsa was chasing hard. I was able to overtake Åsa, doing my best to control the race. Helle had to see herself overtaken by Åsa, and from here, I realized, that there was nothing else to do, than making victory difficult for the eagerly fighting Åsa.
From here, the distance between us spread. I saw glimses of Åsa behind me and from my supporters I got information about how the race turned out. Rikke fighting hard after her accident with the chain, was the racer of the day, since she was able to absolutely bite her teeth to come back and overtake Åsa in the very last round to claim second position. What a race! Åsa took third, with Helle in fourth position!
All the sudden, the chances for a spot at the Olympic Games is closer than ever. In a week, I’ll let you know 🙂