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.

Sunshinerace Nals

After a promising progress of my form last week in Montichiari I was really looking forward to the C1 Sunshinerace in Nals last weekend. The track in north Italy was about 5km long and leads the riders upwards on a long climb and back down into the Adige Valley on a fast, rocky and dusty downhill.

I had a good start in the big and strong mens field but had to take care about my legs a bit in lap one of seven. I tried to give it all and with the knowledge that my shape should be there I focused on my own rhythem, even my legs were not the best that day. But in end of lap two something caught into my rearwheel and it flated it. First on the rim and afterwards by foot I reached the technical zone quite far back in field and decided that the race was over for me at that point. After the lasts weeks that was mentaly one failure to much…
But I won’t stop and head will be up again soon, so I will give everything at the next chance next week at the Ötztalbikefestival in Haiming.

The good news of the weekend are that teammate Florian Vogel won an other race ahead of Manuel Fumic and Ondrej Cink.

Trofeo Delcar Montichiari

The old castel above the roofs of Montichiari in Italy was the host for the HC cathegorie race „Trofeo Delcar“ last weekend. The 5km long track leads the about 150 riders strong and well staffed field up to the castele mountain, even through the historic walls and attended with many steep climbs and dusty downhills.

This time I had a really good start into the race about demanding six laps in front of an awesome crowd. I found a good and smooth rhythem which leads me into the TopTen positions in the fourth lap. Unfortunately I flated my rearwheel in that lap which caused a long food walk. Afterwards, in the last two laps my rhythem was not that smooth anymore and I came in displeased on 40th place. But well, propably I should take the positive things out of the race with me: After an disappointing start of the season I felt pretty good today, had good legs and even the result was good till fourth lap… So I guess I can look forward to an other chance next week at the Sunshinerace in Nals.

Super cool that my teammate Florian Vogel won the race ahead of the two Italians Fonatan and Tiberi.

Kamptal Classics Langenlois

The beautiful vineyards of the Austrian Kamptal were the host of the middeleuropean seasonopener in Langenlois last weekend. Steep and long climbs demanded mainly a lot power from the riders.
But on this sunday I didn’t had the power… Right from the start I lost some ground in the big and among others with olympic champion Kulhavy also strong field. All efforts to fight back into the race ended with a blown left and right leg much to quick.
Just in the last part of the race I found some flow and rhythm and finished in 22nd after six laps.
So no real trend reversal after the disappointing seasonstart on Cyprus a few weeks ago. But still the season is youngh, I’m motivated and sure things will improve the next weeks.
So even nicer was the impressive win of my teammate Florian Vogel ahead of Karl Markt and Ondrej Cink.

Bundesliga final Bad Salzdetfurth

Just one week after the World Championships in Norway the last points of this years Bundesliga were distributed in the beautiful town of Bad Salzdetfurth in the north of Germany. The 3.5km course with start and finish in the middle of the nice old town, the awesome spectators and at least the nice autumn weather created an superb atmosphere again.

I had quite a bad start into the Elite race that was sheduled with eight laps. I just couldn`t follow the really high speed in the front and so I reached the top of lap one in 22. place. But after this lap evereything seemed to improve: I found my rhythem and a good speed and overtook rider by rider. Midway through the race I was in reach of the podium and with a good last lap I managed to get third behind winner Moritz Milatz and Fabian Giger.

Surely I didn’t expect a podium in this strong field but so I’m even more happy and satisfied about the race.

Next week I will do the last race of my season in Jelenia Gora (C1) in Poland.

World Championships Hafjell

The 2014 UCI MTB World Championships took place in beautiful Hafjell, about 150km north of the Norwegian capital Oslo.
The 4.2 km track on the former Olympic Alpine Ski hillside was pretty tough and bumpy.
I had quite a good start into my first Elite Worlds and was riding around 20th when I flated in lap three. After the stop in the pit I struggled a bit but with two laps to go I found my rhythem again and in the end I moved up from an temporary 33rd place into 18th. I’m pretty happy and satesfied especially with the way I made it into the Top20.

New worldchampion is the French Julian Absalon, who won his fifth titel ahead of Schurter and Fontana.

Worldcup #7 Meribel

The worldcup final in Meribel in the French Alps was overshadowed by the tragic accident of our teammate Annefleur. So instead of writing about my race and the track I prefer to share the letter the team wrote to Annefleur:

„Dear Annefleur „Fleur“,
thank you very much for your time spending with all of us. You´ve brought a lot of vitality and heart´s blood into our team and the cycling sport. With all your love of sport you´ll always remain in our hearts.
On the race day in Meribel you made the sun shine all day long, every flower by the wayside of the track flourished so that you could watch the race from every angle.
You, „Fleur“, didn´t miss to be with every single participant that day: with „your flower“ attached to every number you could experience everyone giving his/her best on that special day, precisely for you.
Every time we think of you, you give us hope and so much strength – thank you for that! You´ll always be with us, we know.
„It´s good for me“- one of your most replied answers to our questions. We do hope from the bottom of our hearts that it is like this, now.
Because of you, the entire cycling family moved closer together, merged and hold a moment of silence prior to each race. Many people, hardly knowing each other, put their arms around each other at the thought of you. What a wonderful experience for us, that day.
Your „beloved“ Focus XC Team
FOCUS XC Team – together fun and success!“

Even it was so secondary this weekend: I finished on an ok 30 place, not the result I was dreaming about but legs just didn’t want so spin as I wanted.

Worldcup #6 Windham

The small town of Windham in the US- State New York was hosting the sixth round of the UCI MTB Worldcup last weekend.

With a long climb and a fast and nice descent the 5.1 km track was a bit ‚Old Sdhool‘ but fun. I had an all right start into the race in the sunday afternoon heat and quickly found my rhythm. With Seven laps to go I didn’t want to try something special so early in the race so I focused on my on pace, hoping to speedup in the end maybe. In the beginning of the last lap I was in the reach of the Top20 but causing a wheelchange destroyed my hopes to maybe at least try to attack this spots. Bit pity but so or so I’m quite happy with the 25th rank in the end.

Worldchampion Schurter won the race again ahead of Absalon and Lukas Flückinger.

So now the Worldcupfinal in Meribel in two weeks time is next.

Worldcup #5 Mt St Anne

At the fifth round of the UCI MTB Worldcup in Mt. St. Anne, Canada, I had a tough day in the office and the premiere in the German Championsjersey did not went the way I wanted.  The track just 40km away from Quebec City was really damanding, technical and fun, normaly.

I had quite a controlled start into the Elite race with seven laps to go and when I entered lap two I thought I have a good rhythem and moved up into about 20th spot. But in the end of this lap I ran out of energie, feld like there was nothing left in the tank. Still I just tried to given it everythink, but this was not much on this sunday. So even the great course was not fun anymore. Maybe last weeks stomach bug did still effect me more than I thought, so I got truely dissapointed 47th in the end. Anyway I hope to be back on my best for the next chance next week in Windham for the 6th round of the Worldcup.

Nino Schurter won the race in Mt St Anne ahead of Absalon and Mc Connel.


Some moved impressions from the Nationals

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