88km, 3000m of climbing, 3.41h
First Place, 13sec ahead of Urs Huber
Back on my full suspension Epic again! I have chosen this bike over the hard tail Stumpjumper because I love to ride it! It is full with technology, smooth and stiff to ride and it delivers me extra motivation, especially also because nobody else has such a competitive fully lined up!
The course had some rougher technical sections, plus at the end it was more and less all downhill to the finish, so I knew about my big equipment advantage compare to my competitors.
Although we Swissies were close to lose the race to Germany’s Robert Mennen. Bucher, Huber and I we were just looking at each other in the middle of the last climb. Well, we did not only look at each other, we also really gave it to each one of us, trying to attack several times, but when Mennen attacked the one and only time we could not follow… he quickly gained almost 30 seconds. I could close that gap in the downhill together with Huber on my wheel again. Luckily for me there were some technical cross country sections at the end. I really tried hard to brake away through it, but Huber could always close the gained seconds again on the open roads. On the very rocky last single trail I managed to choose the perfect lines and speed, so I gained like 10 seconds. Not much for the last remaining 8km flat to the finish, but I put everything I had out there into the pedals, ducked down and managed to save the victory, which also secured me to win the overall of the IXS Series.