115kms, 3.25hrs racing time
World Champion, 3.10min ahead Jaroslav Kulhavy
It‘s been a while sine I won a big big race. Often I was ether not good enough, or just lacked the needed luck. It is just simply amazing that finally everything came together again for this race!
I was training very hard for it for the last 3 weeks. It included lots of power workouts, sprints and longer rides of 4-5hrs.
I think those 4 weeks of training leading up for world champs was very important for my head. I could only think of this one race which made me focus and nervous and this is always good for me to be switched on for THE day!
I only checked out the first and last third of the course, but the last 25km very well. The track was difficult to memorize anyway, so I thought not knowing the middle section will be fine, and once I will hit the pre ridden section again I will feel like at „home“.
The legs felt like on „auto pilot“ for the hole race. They spinned for free and I was always in control on my Stumpjumper 29er hardtail. At the start line I knew I am racing here the fastest bike and tires (Renegade)! I am not saying this because I am a Specialized marketing tool! This bike is so stable, stiff, good rolling, light and comfortable!
All the Cape-Epic experience helped as well, because at the beginning it was pretty hectic and dusty when ever we were not riding in the forest. I stayed calm and I could safe a lot of energy. Mid race time I went to the front and increased the pace. This quickly formed a small group with Absalon, Kulhavy, Böhme and myself.
My focus always has been for the last 40km where I knew the course again plus the real climbs will start. I still felt so much energy after 3hrs into the race and I could not wait for the final battle. Absalon and Böhme dropped! How cool was it to lead the race with my Specialized team mate Kulhavy together! After I finally knew he will be save for second I rode the last 50min by myself. Hard on the uphills, safe and in control in the downhills. I did not wanted to risk anything, since I was not carrying any spares. Often my motto is „go big or go home!“
I have never seen any bigger crowd at marathon worlds like here in Montebelluna, and it was even bigger then at many cross country world champs.
Moments you never forget, crossing a finish line like this, plus also seeing such a enthusiastic team staff. It was also Benno‘s birthday. We two are on the road since almost 10 years together, and it was great I could deliver such a cool present to him!