60km, 1800m of climbing, 2.28hrs
First place, 3sec ahead of Hansueli Stauffer
I slept well and the first thing is the morning was to get organized. Unpacking my bike, getting the feed bottles ready and thinking of tire choices, but out of convenience and positive attitude I kept my signature Renegades on since it looked like it is going to be sunny after a rainy night. Renegades were definitely fast but only for the last half of the race. It rained again at the beginning of the race and it made an already muddy course supper slick with also some walking sections. Fast Track in front would have been first choice. During those wet and deep muddy sections I could not keep up with my village mate Hansueli Stauffer and a few others. Quickly I ended up chasing for the entire race by myself with some help of cyclo cross star Taramarcaz Julien especially pushing me to the limit hitting the deep muddy parts. I only spotted Hansueli 10minutes before the finish, and there I was still more then 30sec off. Somehow I managed to close that gap and passed him in a real Hitchcock final only on the last 200m.
Hansueli was really strong and it was good to see him taking the risk attacking from the beginning on. Often we mountain bikers are not very attacking like roadies, but we ride also more at our limit threshold, so it is not so easy to attack from an already high level of tiredness and speed.
Four wins in five days in 3 countries! I have some successful days behind me. Thanks to every one who made it happen! The Specialized boys and Christine at Four Peaks, the Stauffer family taking my short notice call to feed me at Swiss Champs.
I was also super happy for Arian Kleinhans taking the win in the women category. Like this both titles were a little bit Stellenbosch, South Africa made!
With a positive attitude almost nothing is impossible! I was really motivated to win the double Four Peaks and Swiss Champs. I love those challenges and that made me strong. Although when I passed driving Bern half way form the airport to Estavayer all tired in the dark and rain, I rather would have turned left as usual just to go home and not thinking of racing the next day again.
Photos by Martin Platter