Do you believe that!? Only second participation in the Marathon World Championships and already I’ve achieved the best possible result – winning! The stepup was so fast, last year bronze, this year gold. Great results come from great stories..
After racing the national Time Trial I went on the very next morning to Italy to race the Marathon World Championships. My performance at the nationals told me, that I was ready for Italy. I arrived totally exhausted though, so as soon as we got to our hotel, I went straight to bed shutting off all light, noices and electronics, only thinking about sleeping! When I woke up in the late afternoon and got the bike together, I realised, that I was in the most beautiful surroundings in North Italy bordered by the mountains and the sun setting.
Getting ready for the race was quite easy, since it mostly demanded lots of rest. Sometimes the waiting time gets long for me, so I do my best trying to switch off my head and just reload.
Sunday morning I was ready to race! We arrived at Montebelluna and I went for a quick spin to get the body going. When the gun went off, I felt confident and focused on the race. I didn’t know the track (98,3 km), but I knew, that marathons demand endurance and a well planned race. Best of all, I knew, that I was strong and that my support would be great. Things couldn’t go all that wrong!
The way I did the race, was to take it step-by-step. That meant knowing when the next feed- / tech zone would appear. My supporters, Michael Borup and Lasse Spliid, would be at every zone (6 or 7) handing me bottles and energy and ready to change a wheel if necessary. My race cockpit consisted of my Garmin computer and a simple piece of paper showing the distances between the zones. At the first feedzone it was so hectic, that I missed the bottle Michael handed me. Oh no! The very next second, he yelled at Lasse, who stood at the end of the zone, handing me a spare bottle, phew!..
The field was cut into two already on the first long climb. The first 10 or 20 kilometer was ridden pretty fast, then the pace settled down to a steady one from here. I kept in mind eating and drinking to load well. The atmosphere in a marathon race is so much different from a XCO race ( short distance, 1,5 hours), because you just can’t race as fast for more than 4 hours.
The field got smaller along the race, since the pace slowly started raising. When we reached the second last feedzone, I think we were 5 riders at the front. From here only the favorits for the podium were left. At the very last feedzone, the group was already streched well out because of the pace. After leaving the feed zone and hitting the last 15 kilometers, only Sabine Spitz and I were left at the front. I knew, that three nasty climbs were left, and just then, I decided to attack! My body awoke by the thrill and then I just worked as hard as I could. It was amazing! I tried not to think too much about, that I was actually on my was to gold. All the time, I was followed by motorcycles with cameras 20 cm from my face and the noice from the helicopter above my head was so loud, that I almost blew me away. The last 5 km to goal was almost all downhill. All the sudden I emerged from the forest and rode the last kilometers into the city of Montebelluna. The sign along the course counted down. With 500 meters to go, the road was heavily lined with people and once again I got goosebumps all over.
Crossing the finishline was unbelieveable and amazing!
There’s no way, I could have ridden the race any better or have had better support along the course, Thank you!
These rainbowstribes came so much sooner, than I ever dared dreaming about. So maybe already now, I should say, that what I really dream about, are the XCO rainbow stripes 🙂