Hope you had a nice weekend!!
I spent my weekend racing my first cross country national championship ever in Luxembourg, the country I have been representing since the beginning of this year.
I had this race on my mind for the last few months and have been preparing really intense for making a good result on this particular day. I managed to reach one of my biggest goal for the summer by winning the Luxembourgish elite MTB cross country championship in Alzingen.
This has for sure not been an easy challenge as I have spent hours and hours to get the top speed back in the legs for this race. As you know my main discipline is marathon and the training is a lot different than the training for the short track Olympic discipline. So the last 6-7 weeks I have been trying to improve the speed in my trainings. I did motor pace training behind a scooter for 3-4 hours combined with a lot of super intense short hilly intervals a few times a week.
I knew that the track of this year suited me really well and it was only a matter of getting in front of the fast guys who normally win the cyclocross, MTB and road races here in Luxembourg.
The championship on the 21st of July was held on a super difficult track with a lot of turns. There was a 700 meter long hill we had to get up 12 times. I was training a lot on the track in order to know every little corner, stone, root, hill etc.
The start of the race was really fast like always in cross country. During the first few laps I was fighting to get near the front, which took me like 4-5 laps out of 12, as I am a bit of a slow starter. From there on it was just full gas where I tried to make the remaining laps as hard as possible for my opponents. We were racing with high speed and it took me all in all 60 minutes to get rid of last guy Felix Schreiber, who finished 2nd at the cyclocross nationals back in January. After 12 laps of racing I could finally raise my hands and I knew it was my day. I won the race 2 minutes in front of Philippe Bützow and Scott Thiltges, both really strong cyclocross riders.
I am super happy with my victory and how things worked out. Now I will be wearing this beautiful jersey in all cross country events from now on and during the whole next season.
The upcoming weeks will be really tight scheduled. This week I leave to Austria to race the UCI world series race “Montafon M3” on Saturday the 28th July. The week after I participate in the UCI S2 stage race “Ischgl Ironbike Festival” which takes place from the 4th-6th August. After Austria I will fly directly to the US (Newbraska) to do my very best to fight for the world champion jersey in Gravel Racing at the “Gravel Worlds” on the 18th August.
Here a link to RTL TV Luxembourg and their report from the race: http://www.rtl.lu/sport/cyclissem/1213208.html
Here a few articles from the Luxembourgish news:
Link to the homepage/FB of “Montafon M3” UCI World series:
Link to the UCI stage race “Ischgl Ironbike Festival”: