Description: Marathon Race
2 laps, 94km, 2100m of climbing
Second place, 18sec off winner Alban Lakata
I was about to win this race, but 100m before the finish I dropped my chain off the chainring… I had a small chain suck so I instinctively back pedaled. With all the mud all over my drive train the chain went off and I had to walk over the finish line but Lakata had passed me already. It was like in a bad dream but I am pretty used to dramas like that. I only have to think of the Olympics back in Athens when I broke my chain on a medal spot.
I did not ride with a chain guide on my rotor 36 Rotor chain ring. To me it seems it works very well in normal conditions but in very sticky mud a chain guide is recommended in racing.
It was a hard race because of the sticky muddy terrain and the strong cold wind. Luckily it only rained for a few minutes. My legs were very cold and they felt like “aliens” to me and not part of my body for more then half of the race. But as soon as the sun came out for the last half hour I felt very good, and I really needed it! Because on a flat asphalt stretch I had the same problem as at the finish and I lost Lakata and Hynek by about 15sec. Sure the two worked together and did not want to see me back any more. I though that was it, since we faced rolling hills and I was fighting against the wind alone. If I pushed too hard in the flat I was too tired for the climbs to gain time back, and and if I pushed too hard on the climbs I had no juice to make up time in the flat. I finally made up my seconds around corners which I took full risk and finally after half hour of chasing (it felt like 2hrs) I was back on the two. The door for the win was wide open for me again. Only a few kms before the finish we could drop Hynek and I knew I had to gain a few seconds into Alban around some tight corners just before the finish. I took them with big but controlled risk and I instantly had the gap which in my eyes I needed for the win, but I definitely did not needed a chain off my chainring right there…