Roc d’Azur, Fréjus/FRA

Date: 10.10.2014 – 12.10.2014

Description: Marathon and Cross Country Race

Sunday Cross Country
55km, 1500m of climbing, 2.12h
6th Plance, 2.12mn off winner Jordan Sarrou

Every year the level and speed increases so much here at Roc. I am sure with my Friday and todays performance I would have won a few years ago (almost) easily. Most of the riders especially the Frenchies going for it. Well me too but it is more and less trying…. Not only heart & head have to be into it, also the whole training and then you still need a super day. Oh well the time of easy winning is over. I still remember my first win here in 2005, when we went for a whole day of mini motocross riding & drinking above Monaco. The next day I won the race (almost) easy.

Today we started super fast again and held the pace all the way until the finish. As in previous years I was not strong enough to race over the firs steep climb with the leaders. I found myself in the second group racing for 4th or 5th place. At the end I sprinted against Carabin from Belgium and this time I lost it.

It feels good to go into the off season with two solid results. Mid December I am still racing Wines2Whales -a three day stage race in South Africa- with Konny Looser.

Friday Marathon
82km, 2270m of climbing, 3.39h
Second Place, 4.29min off winner Maxime Marotte

Since the Swiss Epic my racing life was very quite. My knee was still hurting on and off. Luckily I could enjoy my Enduro bike a little bit. Lots of the time I had to stop doing some stretching, coffee stops or taking gondolas. Riding downhill was no problem and thats the most fun with such a cool bike as the Enduro is.

Unfortunately I had to cancel the Iron Bike Einsiedeln and Extreme sur Loue in France. I wish it would have rained at those races (sorry my egoism 🙂 but it was all super sunny and warm. Well at home I made the best out of it and I did those Enduro rides.

So I had no idea how my knee and fitness will cope here at the Roc d’Azur Marathon. I knew there is no warm up for the first few kilometers. We are racing completely flat out from the gun on, more and less until the end. Or at least that how it felt to me. Marotte was lead out by his team mate Tempier and we never seen Marotte until the finish line any more. I was in the first chasing group with Huber, Fanger, Paulissen and Porro. We all did our part of leading but this year I did not try to break away over the last climbs before the long flat stretch to the finish. I rather saved my energy for a good attack before a technical trail along the beach. It worked out perfectly and only Fanger could hang on. We two worked together until the airport field where the finish line awaited us. I put all my energy together for the last time and sprinted over the line for second. A place I was really pleased with, after a month of dealing with my injury.

The sea is still very warm here and I was a happy beach boy afterwards, although I probably look more pro on the bike though….

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