For the third time in my history I crossed the finishline as winner of a round of the german BundesligaThe changing weather conditions during the race were a perfect reflection of my mental state. At first the sun was shining, but within very short time, the sky opened and rain poured down.
The women’s field had quite some great names on the startline, so I was excited to get going. The course had some extremely steep climbs, which I must admit is something, that really is my force. Even though I had start position in first line, I didn’t made it to the front from the beginning. My legs need more than just a few seconds. As soon as we hit the climbs, my legs felt comfortable and more importantly my head just wanted to race. I pushed the pedals and all the sudden, I had the famous gap to the bunch! If they wanted to race with me, they would have to catch me 😉 Already on the first lap, I had a gap of 40 seconds.
Knowing that the world champion was sitting in 2nd position and occasionally seeing glimpses of her, made me a little nervous, I must admit. The rainbow jersey deserves respect. There are both advantages and disadvantages racing alone in front. You have to keep pushing, just paced by yourself and the imaginations of the other riders on your wheel. That demands for some powerful imagination skills, which it turned out, I had a great load of this day.
I must admit, that on the penultimate lap, I was shocked to see, how close she was now! Mentally I started to settle for second place… And that is definately not the way, you win a race. I instantly felt the power leaving my body and felt the pain in my legs!.. I just couldn’t keep that mental energy high anymore.
Somehow I turned up side down on my internal state, and thought to myself: “Hey, victory is just in front of you! What’s to loose?” On the climbs I gave it all, imaging two hooks under my shoulders pulling me to the top. In fact after the very last climb, my vision started to blur a little from lactate building! When you are able to do that, you just know shape is good! 🙂
The last hundred meters before the finishline, I knew victory was safe and I absorbed the atmosphere, rewarding myself to let go of the gas and cheer with euphoria. This moment is just priceless!..