The second round of the Sunshine Cup has finished. Leaving me with many impressions. For the olympic qualification this race had quite some importance, since a lot of the important UCI-points was thrown into the pot. On the points-side, I achieved the best possible result since I walked away with the overall victory
The race itself was a 3-day event: a time-trial on the first day, then a 40 km point-to-point race and finally a xco race ( the format, that we normally race in WorldCups etc.) The sum of time spend each day, would count in the final overall classification.
On the timetrial it was just all-out for approximately 20 minutes. I felt good for the first half, then I felt my power really lowering and suffered myself through the last part and ended up having the third best time for the day.
In the point-to-point race a group of 5 girls including me got away at the front, mostly the girls who also rounded the top 5 at the time-trial the day before. The speed was kept high and all the sudden Tereza Hurikova found herself with a flat tire, which forced her to stop and fix her wheel. The rest of us had to find the winner among us on a 7 km steep and tecnical uphill followed by a just as long downhill, with another steep uphill before the finish. I knew, that one could benefit a lot from leading into the singletrail, but I didn’t make it to the front. Instead I settled with the rearwheel view of the two German riders Adelheid Morath and Sabine Spitz. Fortunately I found some chances to pass them both on the uphill, and rode as fast as I could, in order to have the greatest time margin for the following xco race. At the finish, I’d managed to put a gap of some minutes to the following riders, but I also knew, that to grab the overall victory, I still had to put in some work the next day.
The last day arose, and I was relaxed and excited at the startline. When the gun went off, I made a stellar start sitting in second position behind Tereza. On the first singletrack section Adelheid got into second position between Tereza and me. Slowly Tereza pulled away, leaving me frustrated stucked in traffic. When I was able to pass, I started the hunting for the lead. I pushed it to the limit, which resulted in me making stupid mistakes, resulting in crashes. I told myself to slow down and focus on keeping my overall victory. All the sudden, I was told, that Terezas gap was only 30 seconds (due to another flat tyre for her), and that turned out the be crucial for me. I really focused to ride as steadily as possible even though I felt fatigue setting in. Sabine attacked on a climb, but I didn’t really care about her ride. I knew, that it was safer just to keep my own rythm.
So, at the end, I ended up third in the xco race and just grapped the overall victory with a minute to Tereza with Spitz in third! Goal achieved!
The weekend costed a lot of energy! I have learned a lot, fortunately! There’s still room for improvement in many ways!
My teamsupport was great. My setup was with heavier tyres with more airpressure than normal. That made the bike a little heavier and riding sligthly more slippery. On the other side, I made it through with no defects and that’s where I won this weekend’s stage-race. Without flat tyres, I think Tereza would have won 🙂