BIKE Four Peaks, GER

Date: 05.06.2013 – 08.06.2013

Description: Marathon Stage Race

Saturday Stage 4
69km, 2022m of climbing, 2.46hrs
First place, 15sec ahead of Lukas Kaufmann

Today’s route got changed at the end. We did not climb up into a valley over a 2200m pass. I did not mind at all since I could safe a little bit of energy for tomorrows Swiss Marathon Championships.
We started fast from the beginning more and less to the end, so no serious breakaway happened On the last climb it was Kaufmann and myself riding everybody off, well he did myself as well. It just started to hurt too much and I knew I can catch him in the downhill again. So as I did, but I must say I was focussing on every stone going down. I did not want to give away the overall win because of a flat tire.

I was super happy to bring the overall home after four days of hard racing. I love stage racing!

After the race we packed our stuff very quickly up and drove to Specialized Central Europe in München. I got a massage from Christine and Sandy packed my bike in the mean time. I ate a real Bayern dinner at the airport with Prezzel and Hefeweizen. When I arrived in Zürich I was so ready to get on the freeway and driving the last two hours to Estavayer le Lac the beautiful host town of Swiss Champs. Unfortunately I was “sleeping” and missed the one exit to Bern and ended up in the middle of the center of Zürich. That costed quite a bit of time and finally I was in bed after midnight. I was so ready to hit lala-lande!

Friday Stage 3
82km, 2440m of climbing, 3,37hrs
Second place, 3.42min down to Jochen Käss, first in gc

It was one of my longest climbs in a race. 1200m more and less straight up into the snow which meant running in it up until the knees at the worst places. I hate old, wet rotten snow… We took it steady but Jochen a little faster. We never saw him again. It was a great effort plus courage of him to try it alone, especially there was a long flat section before the final climb. We did “tinker” around a little but not that much. I was surprised that at one stage he was almost 6min ahead. We have been probably a 30 riders group going into the final of the final climb. It was Alban Lakata and myself riding over the kom solo around 4min behind Käss. Alban could not follow me in the steep single trail to the finish and I made an other 25sec on him.

The finish here in Kaprun is a legendary mtb place from the past. The first time I raced here in 1995 a downhill world cup. It was the “mekka” back then. I wonder why there are no more big races here any more?

We are staying in a super nice hotel only with the best material, designs and spa, but the time is too short to really enjoy it. I sure will do the five course menu tonight though!

Tomorrow after the race I have to rush to Münich airport catching the plane to Zürich for the Marathon Swiss Champs on Sunday in Estavayer le Lac. See what I have left by then!

Thursday Stage 2
75km, 2500m of climbing, 3.11hrs
First place, 1.25min ahead of Alban Lakata, first in gc

600m climb at the beginning, pretty flat until the big final climb with a technical downhill to the finish. This was pretty much the route profile of todays stage.

I have watched the most prestige downhill ski race the Streiff so many times on tv and would have loved to win it once in my life. Never made it to the pros on that side of sport though.
Today we crossed the finish slope of the ski race and then we rode all the way to the top on gravel and down again. At the end it was only Lukas Kaufmann and myself riding over the top. Alban Lakata only about 15seconds back. Those 15sec were such a big effort on the climb to make but then the other minute I made on Alban was almost for free during the very technical descent all the way to the finish. I loved it because it was important to watch ahead, choosing the right lines and some cool north shore bridges too. I am glad my dh skills are still working!

After the price giving we are always eating at our team booth. Today we even got a new cooker which was not risk of explosion like our old gas one yesterday. There is noting better then a bowl of pasta with olive oil and parmigiano or goat cheese.

Wednesday Stage 1
69km, 1900m of climbing, 2.40hrs
First place in sprint in a group of 6

Next that I won a sprint since a long time an other highlight was that it was a sunny day. I have not seen the sun for 9 days! It looks like it gave me good energy. I seriously needed it because after a 15km neutral start, riding slow behind a BMW X6 it was completely chaos going into a gravel road. I was second row behind the car and for some seconds confusion started if we do that hair pin corner into the gravel or still going straight. I thought we are going straight, but when I finally did my u-turn I have seen hundreds of riders cutting the corner. I was completely stuck and had to wait and walk. Not a good feeling seeing the leaders racing into the climb and I am in the middle of nowhere waiting. After I got out of there it was chasing time for the whole day. Only on the last and major climb I have seen the leading group slowly coming closer. Luckily there was a very rough and technical downhill section very close to the finish. Thats where I caught the 5 man leading group. I knew I can win the sprint but I have to do it from the front out because the town streets here are small. I took the last chance passing Alban Lakata probably 200m before the finish and sprinted it to the end. It was a pretty cool feeling especially coming from so far behind winning it so close.

The town here is battling with the flooding they had in the last days. Really nice to see that they are still hosting us, next to all the other problems that is on they’re plate.

Tomorrow we are riding up the Streiff the most famous downhill ski race. Never seen it, so that is very exciting also the last 7km is single trail down the ski race mountain. That trail is also part of marathon world champs at the end of this month!

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