The final race of the German Bundesliga was one the best races of the season! Not because of the result, but because I was finally able to race again. For the first time in 1,5 months not feeling inhibited by my ribs. In the race I finished 4th, which at the same time lead to overall victory of the Bundesliga 2011.
Rounding off season 2011, the Bundesliga race in Bad Salzdetfurth was just what I needed. After a long time of recovering from the broken ribs, I rode a danish race last week as a test to see how my body would react working at race speed. I felt good during the race, didn’t have to withdraw and it was just the right medicine to get tuned for the Bundesliga final.
Full of optimism I attended the race in Bad Salzdethfurth. I was feeling the eager to race, with excitement and the butterflies in my stomach. I had a great weekend seeing my Easton Rockets teammates again and just enjoying the atmosphere.
The race itself was really exciting. After being away for a while, I had absolutely no idea where my level would be compared to my competitors. A lot of the girls still holding on to their world championship form and top names at the startline. Since this was my last race of the season, I had all to win and nothing to loose. I just wanted to race with the front and see what happened.
The start was just my thing. Uphill for maybe 5 minutes, which stretched out the field. I was a little nervous, that the girls would just ride straight away, leaving me with the same dead feeling, which has been the case for the last 1,5 months. But that wasn’t the case at all! Feeling comfortable, I could follow the pace at the front and after the startloop, we were a group consisting of Irina Kalentieva, Gunn-Rita Dahle, Lisi Osl, Blaza Klemencic and me.
Blaza made sure, that the speed didn’t slow down, and so we more or less continued a few laps. The course was really great; fun, dusty and really steep climbing. In our group, it soon got clear, that everybody went for the victory with different tactics! This is when racing turns thrilling for both riders and spectators! Gunn-Rita all the sudden started to pull away and soon Irina was on the chase with Blaza and me on the tail. On the climbs Irina was really putting the hammer down, I was riding on limit!.. Irina pulled away and going into the final lap, I still had Gunn-Rita and her within sight, my legs starting to cramp. I had to let go on the gas and on a steep part of the climbing, Blaza attacked!.. I wasn’t able to respond, just focusing on keeping my podiumspot. I could feel, that I already had reached my goal for the race; being able to ride with the front. I kept my 4th position to the finishline, crossing very satisfied! Irina had even managed to overtake Gunn-Rita and won the race.
Finishing my season feeling on top again, will maintain my motivation through the winter, looking forward to return the the World Cups and the Bundesliga races!
Big congrats from CH Annika – here the MTB season is also coming to an end but with the peaks being white(r) the motivation for ski-alpinism is slowly growing 😉 all the best. Marc