Cappadocia Bike Festival

It`s quite at time ago that I did my last post here but my trip to Cappadocia/Turkey is really worth a little writing.

After an 100km Bikeride at home on Wednesday I decided quite spontaneous to fly to Turkey on Thursday to start at the three day Cappadocia-Bike-Stagerace on Friday…
I just took my Focus Fully, four pants, four jerseys, a few bars, Helmet and my Saddlebag wit spare tube, Minitool and CO2 pump. Quite a little and very, very optimistic set for an three day stage race on rocky ground and on unknown terrain…

So after arriving I was excited to see what the nearly 6 min long Prolog would bring – burning lungs but also a stagewin and the leaders jersey. That was cool. So I also had one more jersey to change for the trip 😉

On the second day a about 26.6 km long Point-to-Point (XCP) stages with nice single trails led the riders through the insane canyons of Cappadocia before the last 10 km were uphill and with headwind back to the finish line. 
Unfortunately I saw the finish line already way to early: I was in front of the race and just on the point were the XCP- track and the XCO-track for sunday split there was a sign missing. But since I still saw marks (of the XCO…) I recognized that I was wring only when I saw the finish area again. I turned, found the track again somehow and just put in everything I had to try to limit the damage. Finished fifth and 3 min down.
But I was not the only one, all four riders that were leading in the beginning of the race were routed wrong. So since that was not our mistake and each of us could proof his time-loss via GPS-files we discussed with the UCI commissar and organizers and finally the results were changed. So I even took the stage win and kept the leaders jersey. 

In the final XCO race on sunday my legs were quite heavy, but probably that was the same for everyone. Still I managed to start good and with an other win I was also able to secure the leaders jersey ahead of the French Franzosen Demy Duquesne and Kirill Kazantsev from Kazakhstan.

But there is so much more to tell about this great trip. It was super spontaneous, without planning and expectations. So it mist be good. People were super friendly, even chatting in English was a problem sometimes. The landscape with those houses built into the rocks was insane, one of the most beautiful ones I have seen. Track and organization (except the missing mark on saturday) was good. And mistakes can happen to everyone – but they sealed with it in a fair way. 
Sun and good food rounded up a nice weekend.
So I even went for an 2.5h bike ride through Cappadocia in sunday afternoon to get as much impressions as possible.
Monday morning I traveled home, with good memories and also my first UCI win of the seaoson – and I will definitely be back!

Worldcup final Vallnord

The height of Andorra hosted the last round of the 2016 UCI MTB Worldcup. With an altitude of over 1900m above sea level the 4,2km long track on the skislopes of Vallnord did not forgive any overpacing. So as I’m used to sealevel at home my tactic was to ride clever and with rhythm.

After a good start I finished the first loop within the Top30. But somehow I could not increase or even hold my rhythm on that day. So already in lap two of seven a big suffer started for me which did pay off at least in the end by overtaking riders again and taking an ok 35. place.
Sure I was aiming for more and was not happy about my legs but I just gave it absolutely all and so I guess I should and can be happy with that place and my performance.

French man Julian Absalon took both the daily and overall win ahead of Ondrej Cink and Pablo Rodriguez.

Even the season is about to close the next race is already next weekend in Obertraun (Aut).

ProXCT Windham

After the Worldcup in Mt St Anne a few of my Focus XC Teammates and I traveled through the USA to ride some of the best single trails I’ve ever ridden and had just a good time.

To roundup or little America trip we raced the HC race in Windham. With high temperatures and lot of climbing the track at the skislope was tought and some rain before the race made it even harder.
I had a good start and hit the first long climb in 5th position when I broke my chain. With a long way up into the tech zone I decided that would make no sense to run up there in the heat. Instead I searched for my chainlink on the trail and found it luckily. I continued racing just ahead of the U23 field, which started 5min behind us… Frustrated and some how demotivated that was my luck because so I could catch the back wheel of the U23 leader and so after a few laps I came back into the race. I really enjoyed to moveup now, even I did`t know what place I was riding for until I finished – in 7th just a few seconds off the enlarged podium… So on one hand I was super happy with my performance and how I reacted to the broken chain, but for sure super edged about the missed opportunity for a top result.
Anyway teammate Florian Vogel saved our team a second spot on the podium behind winner Martin Loo and third Lukas Baum.

We had a super time in the US and enjoyed every moment on and also off the bike.

Next race will be by end of the month at the Bundesliga in Ortenberg/Germany.

Worldcup Mt St Anne

The Worldcup in Mt St Anne in Canada is a really classic one but unfortunately I took a quite bad day last sunday.
Even the track on the skislope at the St. Lorenz river was slightly changed , it’s technical and physical demands had stayed.
After really superb weeks, which were sometimes over my own expectations, I was looking forward to race. But just after a bad start I recognized that also my legs were just not there. I tried to get into the race somehow but was quarreling with myself a bit to much in the first laps. Just in the last three laps I caught up something like race rhythm and moved up into 43th place.

France man Julian Absalon won the race ahead of Victor Koretzky and Matthias Flückinger.

Even I`m pretty disappointed to have a bad day like that in a Worldcup, I’ll give my very best to do a lot better next time at the HC race in Windham that saturday.

Boston Rebellion

Just one week before the next Worldcup in Mt St Anne (Canada) I managed to score an very unexpected win at the HC race in Boston (USA).
I’m super stoked about that win on a fast, flat but very traily track on the east coast and also super happy and thankful for Focus teammate Florian Vogel in second, who gave me good tips and the confidence to try an attack in the last lap. Canadian champion Derek Zandstra came in third.

Now we head into north for the fifth round oft the UCI MTB Worldcup in Canada.

German Champs

What a day at the national championships in Wombach this weekend. After 2014 I could claim my second German Champion title in the Elite category and was pretty overwhelmed.

Already in the start loop I got into the race perfectly and was able to be part of the five-riders leading group in the first laps. In the second of seven 4.1km loops I forced the pace a bit and it was Martin Gluth and Manuel Fumic who lost the contact at first. So three of us were up in front for the nearly the rest of the race. I worked a lot in the front and when Christian Pfäffle had a flat with two laps to go I recognized that Mritz Milatz and I will fight for the jersey. I just hoped I did`t spent to much energy by setting the pace for most time in the race. On the second last hill I went all out, trying to claim the stripes. Indeed, I was able to cross the finish line first, totally overwhelmed and super happy. Crazy.
12 seconds later it was Moritz Milatz who took silver over Christian Pfäffle in bronze position.

I just don’t know what to say about my feeling, I’m just super super happy.

Worldcup Lenzerheide

Just one week after the worlds in Nove Mesto the fourth round of the UCI MTB Worldcup took place in beautiful Lenzerheide, Suisse. It was not only the altitude but also the technical 4.2km long track with many roots that required everything from the riders. So perfect terrain for my Focus O1E Fullsuspension.

This time I had a good start from 64th position but tried a bit to hard in the second lap and paid for that a little the next laps. But entering the second half of the race I had my perfect rhythm, claimed place by place and with a good finish I came in in 25th with a big smile on my face. That wa say second best world cup result.

Worldchampion Nino Schurter won on homesoil ahead of Julien Absalon and Maxime Marotte.

The reaction will continue already  next week with the national championships in Lohr am Main.

WCH Nove Mesto

With five superb Worldcup events in the past year the Czechs have proofen how to organize a proper bikerace. Bit with this years worldchapionships in Nove Mesto they have even topped it. About 50.000 spectators over the weekend, perfect organazation, live TV coverage and a extremly crowdy and pretty demanding 4,3km lap – bikers heaven.

From 78 I had a safe but not really fast start on the fast taramac of the biathlon stadium. I didn’t jump forward really quick in the beginning. But when it came down to the second half of the race my tempo tactic really paid of and with the 8th best time on the last lap I moved up into 35th. Pretty happy with that so far.

Nino Schurter defended his world titel ahead of local hero Jaroslav Kuhlavy and Julien Absalon.

Now it’s about quick recovery for next weeks worldcupstage in Suisse Lenzerheide.

Worldcup La Bresse

The 3rd round of the Worldcup in La Bresse (French) was a frustrating one for me and quickly said, I just did`t had my focus. Check off asap and be back on the positive line.

Worldcup Albstadt

The whole world elite of Mountainbiking found their way to Albstadt, Germany, for the second round of the UCI Mountainbike Worldcup. And so did about 10.000 spectators, that were joining the 4.2 km long track in the “Bullentäle”, which is well know for it`s pretty steep climbs.

With 87 and about 150 riders on the line I had not the best starting position but managed to catch up some places right when the gun went off and also in the first lap I gave it all. After I tried to ride my on rhythm but keept moving forward steadily to finish 40th in the end.
A result I`m happy with and at the same time I`m excited for next weeks Worldcup in La Bresse. Im looking forward to that and with an slightly lower starting position to improve further.

The final sprint for the win in Albstadt went to Nino Schurter in front of Absalon and Marotte.