I don’t know why, but world cup races are just a little more thrilling, exciting, fun and tough than other races, and the first round of the WorldCup in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, was no exception.
I ended up 13th in the race from a 26th start position. I’m satisfied with my performance, still chasing that podium spot or at least breaking the top 10 limit…!
The bad thing about travelling to South Africa is, that it’s a long flight. The great thing about travelling to South Africa is, that it’s in the same time zone as the part of Europe, that we left. That meant no jet lag, fantastic!
Well, travelling for about 24 hours when arriving at our destination, made us all pretty tired, just like the dogs on the farm, where we lived during our stay. The place was owned by a German / Swiss couple making the experience a whole lot more familiar for the German Speaking part of our team.
We quickly assembled the bikes and went for a short spin. The next few days we trained on the course in absolutely perfect weather conditions.
On race day I was extremely excited! I always get pretty quiet, when I’m nervous or excited before a race and I just wanted the time to fly by as fast as possible, waiting to hear that gunshot announcing the real opening af the season! Luckily, before I knew, I found myself on the startline in the buzz with 30 seconds to go!..
And off we went!
I didn’t have the best start, but as soon as I saw the opening to the front, I just hammered away. On the first round, I wasn’t able the move forward on the very narrow course, but on the second and following laps, I cought up to the front proceeding to a final 13th spot.
The race was tight. There were always riders around me which was very motivating. Some riders passing, some riders falling behind.
There especially was one rockgarden, which separated the good from the excellent riders! I rode this sections without problems. On the penultimate round I was too tired, and made a mistake, which costed time. On the final round a rider had crashed in front of me and the riders aorund me, which forced us off the bikes. Luckely I was fast on my feets and managed to pass a few riders here. The last part to the finish line Gunn-Rita Dahle put down the hammer, and I couldn’t hold her wheel. It seems she is not done with racing at high level 🙂
This time I’ve been more productive with my camera, so I’ll just let the flashes roll from here: