Cross Country 56km, 1800m of climbing, 2.16hrs racing time
4th. place, 17sec off winner Stephane Tempier
I was so messed up on Saturday. I could feel every muscle in my legs, so as on my chest and arms. Leg pain because of the wrong saddle setup I had the day before, the chest and arms because of the wide handle bar without bar ends. The first time since 1997 I took the bar ends off. I just wanted to try something new. It did feel very good since I have more control in the downhills, less weight and with the wide bar I can swing or pull the bike nicely back when riding off the saddle. Reduce to the max! I think you will see me racing also next year with straight bar only. The chest and arm pain did not worry me at all for today’s race since obviously we don’t pedal with it. But my head stayed positive for most of the time, although I had my doubts, since most the riders saved they’re legs for Sunday.
Tempier was the strongest and also took a great chance to break away early in the race. Käss, European Champ Milatz and myself were chasing for almost the entire race. I was very positive that we will still catch him on the last long flat part to the finish, but that obviously did not happen… it came down to a sprint for second! I attacked quite early but unfortunately overshot the last corner just a few meters before the finish line and I got passed by the two. No podium and also no beach time, because a couple hours after we finished the race it started to pore down monsoon style. Luckily I have a few more holiday days ahead here at the Cote d’Azur!