“Baby I’m Back!..” I felt like yelling, while crossing the finishline sunday in Belgian Houffalize. I felt very good in the race, it was awesome!
I ended up in 13th position, which I’m happy about. Of course, there’s potential to advance, bit I’m only starting to feel glimses of good shape, so luckily the season has just begun.
Since the first world cup in South Africa I was feeling worn out and had trouble recovering. I then enjoyed doing things, that would refuel me, like visiting family and enjoying other parts of Denmark. In Houffalize, I got to know the new course very well, with a few tips and advices from Danish rider Klaus Nielsen. The course was first of all extremely physically demanding. No other World Cup course takes you climbing like in Houffalize. I think, they want the climbing to be their trademark. Well, they succeeded!..
The startloop was taking us down an asphalt road before entering into a loose gravel climb steep as a wall. It ended up in chaos and I was forced to run my bike, since we all got tangled up in arms, legs and bikes. Phew! What a start! From my position, I could see the front girls, maybe the first 10 or so beeing able to ride their bikes with no obstacles. A good start is just of major significance if you want to battle for the podium. Well, my race turned out to be all about catching up! I think on the first lap, I came around in almost 30th position. From there, I put the hammer down, feeling almost better and better each round. In the last few laps I caught a big group, passing all riders and entered the switchback downhill into the finish as the first and finally ended up as number 13. Just thrilled about that race!
The conditions were perfect, but extremely cold! I think about 2 degrees Celcius! During the race, I felt the cold air forcing my bronchi to contract, so I almost got strangled in coughing. My body is just not used to so high intensity work at that temperature level. The last World Cup was in humid South Africa with around 30 degrees. Yes, World Cup racing really means racing in different parts of the World. Next World Cup will be in Czech Republic ( 13. May) on a course that I missed out on last year. This year I just can’t wait to go, since the course should be just absolutely one of the best.
Now I’m in Denmark and will head off for 2 x Bundesliga Races the upcoming weekends. If you missed the Race in Houffalize, you still have the chance to catch the replay here: