World Cup Podium at this years first big race! I’m thrilled over the moon! The reward for all the hard work throughout the winter had a sweet reward for me. It was absolutely amazing.
2014 has so far been a completely new experience to me in many ways. First of all, I’ve stepped up team wise and have one of the most professional setups on the scene. Everything runs smooth. I also love having the time now getting to know all the personalities of my new team. Behind the professional appearance and well controlled machine we’re all human beings with everyday issues, feelings, families, stories and what ever life throws at you. But when the start gun goes off, all our differences are put aside and things unite in the fast lane of a one direction street toward the finish line.
When the startgun went off, I soon felt, that I was strong. Even though I initially didn’t have the best start of the race, I used all opportunities to overtake, and only when we crossed the finishline after the first lap I realized I was in 4th position. Immediately the reality hit me: I was at the front of a World Cup race, the thing that has been a goal of mine for so long. Exactly this moment is like having a bird in your hand. You know, it can fly away if you do something wrong and then you loose it all, but you also know, that if you treat it right, it will stay. Well, I had an exact plan worked out how to make my bird stay, so the rest of the race, I knew exactly which seeds to feed it and that made me calm. I had a tight battle with Maja Włoszczowska for third position, but at the end, she pulled away and I took forth. Last having been on the world cup podium in 2011, I was absolutely thrilled with my race.
As you might know by now, I had a stellar race at the Cape Epic just two weeks before the World Cup. Mentally I managed to tone down the Cape Epic, as I declared it the final part of my race preparation for 2014. That being said, Ariane and me still raced hard aiming for the victory. I felt strong at the Cape Epic, even though I had both good and less good days. We both had personal ups and downs, and we both worked hard for the other, when ever it was necessary. In a stage race like this, one of the fascinating things is, that you go through the whole range of your emotions from ecstacy to black despair. No wonder, that some people become addicts.
After the Cape Epic, I had no idea, whether the hard 8 days of 4-5 hours in the saddle would be a benefit or a disadvantage for the 1,5 hour world cup in Pietermaritzburg. The two races are completely different kind of racing and I didn’t have any experiences so far, if I would be able to make the transition from the diesel engine to the fast going gasoline engine. Well, I took the chance, and it seemed to suit me just perfect..