Then it happened! My first World Cup podium! 2nd place in Dalby Forest UK
I had dreamt about it for sure, but never thought it would come already! I’m still totally speechless and euphoric. Everything just felt so easy and comfortably. I’d imagined, that earning a spot on the podium would demand fighting until your body fell apart. But it wasn’t at all!. It felt naturally. So here’s what happened..
A year ago, the race in Dalby Forest was my first ever World Cup. I went with a humble feeling, but as I slowly got to learn the course, my excitement rose, since I saw the opportunities for a great race. From a start position around 40 – 50 I fought my way to finish up 22nd. The great feeling, which I left with last year, I brought with me to the start line this year. This time starting in second row!
From here, the view from the start line is a huge crowd of cameras, lenses, flashes, supporters, reporters, photographers, people cheering, marshals, organizers, important people and more important people 😉 All contributing to and thriving of this World Cup Circus Buzz! The show was about to begin.
I managed to keep calm, spotting my line and excited to get going! As soon as the gun went off, I stuck to my plan. On the start loop I almost kept my position. As soon as the course narrowed, the first crashes emerged in front of me. Luckily I avoided any trouble. I did though loose several positions. Several times on the first lap, people got tangled up in front of me, with me stocked behind them, people clearly riding with their nerves on the outside. It wasn’t until the end of the second lap, I was able to really stretch my legs and put the hammer down. All the sudden I realized, that I actually wasn’t that far away from the front! My expectations rose.
On the climbs I just felt sooo strong, passing riders, who all looked astonished of my emerging, – well so was I!.. I thought; Yes, I’m going to make a top 10 result this time. That was my wildest imagination, I hadn’t yet made those pictures in my head of a podium spot. I was totally unprepared for this. It was like opening your tool box, seeing that you already have used all tools in it! For a moment I settled there… But hey, legs were still good! 😉
From here I just let my instinct take over!
I constantly picked up groups of riders. When reaching them, settling for a while, then moving on!
I shut down my internal thoughts about “do I even belong here??? This is strange ground!” Then I thought: “Let’s say this was just a training ride with some girls, who also happen to be strong. And let’s say this course is my course at home, where I do my training.” At once everything and the whole situation got very familiar to me and I got a calm and confident feeling. I rode my race strategically excellent and I did it pretty damn GOOD!! Outsprinting Sabine Spitz to the finish line and crossing the line in second overall what just like being in a dream! This is so far my greatest moutainbike experience!
All the pieces united in a way, which made it possible. My team is great, the atmosphere here is awesome, which is essential to me. Privately I’ve had some issued to deal with lately. I’ve just recently realized, that I’m trying to be 100% mountainbiker and 100% student of dentistry. You do the math 🙂 You only got 100% energy. Now, I’m reminding myself, that I’m following this dream of mountainbiking, and that it is perfectly okay to not get top grades at school. What a relief. I thrive from challenges and for the moment, mountainbiking is what I find the most challenging.
For a replay of the action, check out: