Description: Marathon Race
95km, 4400m of climbing, 4.30h
First Place, 5sec ahead of Alban Lakata
World Champion 🙂
It was some sort of work for winning my forth world championship title. I never won the rainbow jersey in a close final, so you can imagine my pressure… But the loss and tragedy of Burry puts everything else in perspective for me. That experience is so much burned into my head and bones. It made me tougher then everything else before!
It is also a win for my whole team and equipment. Which is probably the greatest in the whole world. Or definitely for me it is!
I arrived on Monday in Kirchberg. Everything went very smooth except the weather was crapy. I did not mind to train in fog, rain and even some snowfall for world champs, but I definitely wanted to have a dry race day, because that eliminates the chances of mechanicals, bad visibility and cold legs. Cold legs can feel like they are not part of your body and more.
On a race like this it is very important to stay cool in your head. No hyper activities for the first half of such a hard race course is needed. The distance and racing virtually half way up Mount Everest will explode the field anyway. I knew I wont “explode” since I am am big ship diesel engine, but half way up the last climb when Lakata and Paez dictated the tempo I was hoping they don’t have an other 1km/h left to go faster… I suddenly felt that this it is and I went to the front and I tried to dictate the tempo. By the way Jaroslav was waiting for me there and it was great to see my team mate cheering for me at that point. For Jaro this course had too many of long climbs, but I am sure he will be there again next year in South Africa. Paez suddenly dropped but Alban was an other caliber. A true fighter and I might dropped him a few seconds here and there, but when I had to recover just a little bit he was on my wheel again. I put everything into the last 5min before we headed down the mountain to the finish. I wanted to get into the technical single trail first, since overtaking was almost impossible. You can see on the video link 2 how little my breakaway has been on top. Now the real pressure was on for the last 20min downhill. We faced wet roots, mud, dry sections, cow shit (did not mind any more), tight corners, north shore bridges, river crossings and a small running section. One mistake could have cost me the title, felt Alban always in my neck. At 4 Peaks stage race one month before I made more then 1min on Alban in this downhill, but with this pressure I only could keep him at distance about 10seconds, not more! You have no idea how much weight felt of my shoulders once I came out of the forest only a few smooth dry berms ahead of me down to the finish. Like a valve opened! The feeling of crossing the finish line in first is unbelievable, and can not be described in words. I know my team and close friends felt the same and to a point we all still do! It is awesome not winning only for yourself!