So far it has been a season with ups and downs! I will ride you through the last period with some pictures :)
After my last blog it started very wel.. 10th in the HC XCO race in Heubach, a good result in a very strong field of riders. The course was very muddy, which I like, with one long steep climb and one fast downhill. Oldschool course. I was happy to have found a good pace again, good feeling was coming back!
2 weeks later: European Championships Marathon, in Singen, Germany. Super fast, no trails, short steep climbs and not so long. I think it only took us a little over 3 hrs. Strong field of riders, also big names like Neff, Spitz, Dahle, Langvad, Süss, Bigham and so on.. :) It started like a cross country race: FULL GAS! I found myself in the leading group, which was cool, but it was not easy ofcourse.. I could tell, watching my heartrate that I could not ride the pace for 3 hours :). With 30km to go I found myself in a little group behind the leaders, which was okay. It was a course where it was hard to ride alone, because of the wind and the open areas.. I was sprinting for 9th place, which worked out well. Good day! (nice first photo, proud the wear the dutch champions kit!)
With a good feeling and a good form, it went on to three big races. Worldcups Nove Mesto and Albstadt, followed by HC race Gränichen. I was looking forward to it. Unfortunately it went way different as I was hoping for. My startposition in the worldcups makes it hard from the start on. I was riding full over my limit in the startloop to shift up to the front. This was going good, but also caused that I completely blew up myself. This was leading to a lot of mistakes, bad line choices, small crashes, etc. Not the results where I was hoping for.. But, move on, focus on the next races!
Focus on the next races. I was looking forward to move my focus more on the marathons again. To start with the 4 day stagerace in Austria, the Alpentour Trophy. Due to the small injuries I could not train as much as I wanted too, still it led to a few good days in the Alps. I found my rhythm and good feeling again!!! Awesome. A strong field, international field of riders, both marathon and XCO specialists, a lot of altitude meters, perfect race organisation. I ended up 8th in GC.
Then it happened, with a good feeling and in good shape I was about to race the Black Forest Ultrabike marathon in Kirchzarten. A big home race. Rain, cold, just how I like it.. I was in the lead with Silke Schmidt, so far so good. Just over halfway the race, Silke was just in front of me, I wanted to get time back again and was going pretty fast in the downhills. Because of mud on my glasses I could not see well anymore, I think this is why I realised there was a slippery corner way too late, a moment later I found myself a few meters down, crashed into a tree. Ouch... Bike broken, injured, shit! Just at the moment I thouht: Today I am going to win, finally! Apparently! This is also the reason why I missed the World Championships a week later. It all looked way different in my head I must say.. but hey.. that's part of the job. I later realised that I was just very very lucky, I all could have been way worse. After this I first needed time to recover, off the bike for a week. Then slowly back into training again. The good feeling was getting back. The powerdata confirmed I was fit. Still, my leg was not recoverd 100% yet, this caused that Bundesliga Neustadt came just too early. I think, looking back at it, National Championships in the Netherlands also.. Now it is good again! It is interesting how it works with motivation. I want to do it good so badly! And I am looking forward to the next races so much! I can show it immediately on saturday, where I will start in Austria. The Ischgl Ironbike, an extreme profile with 3820 meters of climbing in 75 km! The week after my first UCI marathon World Series in Montafon, Austria.. The season is still long, a lot nice things are on the program. I think I had my bad luck this season now, from now on I would say it's going in the other direction again! Thumbs up!!!!