Worldcup opener Cairns

Like two years ago the luck at the Worldcup opener in Cairns, Austrailia, stayed on the other side of the globe.

Even I went through a big crash in the start that time, I had a flat frontwheel in the first loop. This caused two stops in the techzone and maybe even worse was that it took me out of my line for three laps, because I always had the feeling to flat again… Anyway in the last four laps I got rid of that feeling and tried to move up, which was not easy everytime on a fast track with one long singletrail climb… So I came in 53rd, but probably legs were there for more…

Worldchampion Nino Schurter has won the race ahead of the two French Marotte and Absalon.

So now I’m looking forward to be home for a few days and even more to the next race and next chance at the Europeans in two weeks.

Season kickoff Cyprus

The 2016 season kicked off in Cyprus with the Sunshine-MTB-Stagerace last weekend. With the the Olympics coming up that year, the startingfield was not only big but also worldclass.
I had a little tough start into my first race, crashing already in the second corner of the prologue through the beautiful streets of Lefkara. But didn`t lost too much time and so I was happy with a good performance on the second stage. But after reaching the highest point of the 48km long route I got a flat and this time I lost valueable time. With that in mind I started stage three trying to hang onto the frontgroup. Unfortunately I gave a bit too much on the first kilometers and paid for that in the long about 1:20h long climb.
So I leard for the closing XC-Stage and right after the start I rode my own rhythm. Which was a pretty good one and after one lap I overtook rider by rider and ended up on a pleased 18th place and moved up in 26th in the overall. After the flat that’s ok and so I also got some good UCI points.

Swiss rider Fabian Giger won the stagerace ahead of Marotte and Fontana.

C2 Landgraaf

After a „break and reset“ I felt „ready to race“ again yesterday at the BeNeLux-Cup in Landgraaf in the south of the Netherlands. The 5,7km long track leads the riders via fast singletrails and a few steep hills up to the Snowworld twice per lap, so there was quite some challanging climbing.

I had a good start in the C2 race and at the highest point of the first loop I forced the pace a bit. A bit surprising but from there on I was alone in the lead but was able to stay focused and kept the fun the hole six lap race and managed to win my first race this year ahead of Thijs Zuurbier and Bas Peters gewinnen.

I’m super happy that I could also implement my personals goals in that race. It was also nice to see so many riders with a flower on ther numberplate in memory of our teammate Annefleur, who passed away in last years worldcupfinal in Meribel.

Worldcup #4 Mt St Anne

After a struggling season my body and mind didn’t want to race at the fourth round of the UCI MTB Worldcup, held in Mt St Anne at the Canadian east coast last weekend. So I finished the race in the second lap. It’s disappointing but I have to be honest with myself and accept this. I decided to take a reset now, flying back home and come back sooner or later, promised.

But to end the post with some good news: My teammade Florian Vogel managed to secure his best Worldcup result behind Schurter and Absalon since 2011.

European Champs Chies d Alpago

All my hopes to finally ride a good international race at the European championships in Chies d Alpago in Italy evaporated when the race just has started: After 200m I went down an continued the race next to last… So I had to wait in the traffic before the singletrails a few times in the first 5.5 km long and physically pretty demanding lap. In this situations I thought ‚Well, maybe the good result is gone, but at least you can ride a good race‘. So I just left everything I had in the six lap long race, overtook a couple of riders and even a slow puncture with the necessary wheelchange in the middle of the race did not demotivate me. Sure the 37th place in the end was not what I was after but somehow I’m ok with my performance and my racing felt good. But all in all I’m pretty teed off and would look forward to some better luck again soon…

The defending champion Julien Absalon of France took the title again ahead of Swiss Lukas Flückiger. Manuel Fumic won bronze and so the German national team had an other big success also in the last race of the European championships.

Now I really want a good race next week at the Worldcup in Canada in Mt St Anne finally…

Worldcup #3 Lenzerheide

Even if the head that covered most of middle Europe last weekend was little worse in Swiss Lenzerheide for Worldcup round three, the height of 1500m above sea level made it really challaging conditions.

Also the 4.1km long track was really challaging. Just one main climb but the rest of the course was allways up and down with uncountable stones, roots and corners. A real Mountainbike track, on which you would brutaly suffer if you don’t have the legs. Exactly that happened to me me and together with the extrem conditions I had simply put a super bad day. A crash in lap three reinforced my decision to quite the race.

The olympic champion Kulhavy won ahead of Schurter and Cink.

Now I’ll try to chop that race and look forward to the next chance at Bundesliga in Tittisee-Neustadt next weekend.

German Championships Saalhausen

After the surprising win last year I came to Saalhausen as the definding champion. But after quite a tough spring my main effort was not the titel defense, rather I wanted to recall my best performance again.

The 4.8km track was hard with steep climbs, some rain and mud and the slippery descents required some sensetive fingers on the brake.
After a good start I had little problems with the high speed in the first two laps and rode in sixth and seventh position. But afterwards I found a superb rhythem and caught steadily. After three laps I found my self within the podium spots. Forcing onward the gap to the leader Fumic came down from 45 Sek after lap two to about 20 Sek in the last laps of the race. I tried to push even a bit more but couldn’t. So Fumic after seven laps Fumic took his third title in commanding style, the former European Champion Moritz Milatz came in on 3rd place.

Even I „lost“ the jersey I’m really absolotely happy and satisfied with my vice titel and even more that the race went so well for me again.

Worldcup #2 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 15.000 spectators, that were joining the 4 km long track in the “Bullentäle”, which is well know for it`s pretty steep climbs.

With about 150 riders on the line I started quite bad and lost some places right in the beginning. But from lap towards on I started to move forward. Unfortunatley I got thrown back during my chase two times: Once when I had a chain suck and the second time when I crashed out of the track after an collision with an other rider. So I overtook some riders a few times… But I kept it up and finished the race in 49th. Not what I was aiming for at the start of the season, but after a disapointing first half of the season it was a step forward.

Worldchampion Absalon won the race ahead of Schurter and Kulhavy.

I will now try to make a small cut and enjoy an easy week before putting all in for the preparation for the second part of the season.

Worldcupkickoff Nove Mesto

With Worldcup ölende in Nove Mesto in the Czech Republic also the 2015 UCI MTB Worldcup season kicks off.
About 20.000 crazy enthusiastic fans made their way to join the action at the 4.5km long track at the Biathlon stadium. A lot of roots, rocks and some steep climbs made this track a really demanding one.
With about 150 riders in the startline I Was really optimistic and excited to get things Startes. I took an allright start but got involved in an Crash in the startloop and lost many places. I tried to catch up but did’t found the speed and mode for it so my race ended up quite in the back of the pack.
The olympic champion Kulhavy won in front of his homecrowd ahead of Schurter and Absalon.
The next round of the UCI MTB Worldcup will take place in Albstadt in front of a homecrowd in just one week time. Even time is quite tough I’m just really looking forward to that one.

Ötztal Bikefestival Haiming

Also this year many worldclass riders found their way to the “HC” honorable category race in Haiming at the food of “Ötztal” in Tirol (Austria).
The 4,2 km long track for sundays CrossCountry race was a really tough one because there were so many roots, rocks and short but steep hills so there was really less time to recover. But it was a nice one, so after a few unlucky weeks I hoped to get back to old strength and also to finaly leave the losing streak and solve the knot. My start from the second row was really good and I managed to sit in seventh in the top of the first and longest climb. I felt good, legs were spinnig. But instead of solving the knot once again the air in my rearwheel blow off just after passing the technical zone. ‚This can’t be true?!‘ and ‚This should not happen to you again!‘ were my first thoughts when I saw my cut tire. I ran the about two kilometers towards the next zone, changed the wheel and went off for one more lap with a lot of frustration in me before they pulled me out of the race due to the 80% rule.

Just after the race gallows humour was my only way to deal with this dissapointment, but those flat tires should be enough now for a few years…

One again Florian Vogel won the race ahead of Ondrej Cink and Gerhard Kerschbaumer.