Birkebeiner 2010

Birkebeiner for the 6th time in a row. It is a yearly tradition by now. My norwegian friend Wenche is driving me to the race and helping me during the Birken weekend. As always we have a good time together.
Lodging for the participators are often in private houses. During 2 days there are about 33.000 participators ind the different races. It is so amazing that this race has become som popular. So for all these people there is not enough beds in hotels.
We stayed at Erna’s place, just like last year. When I talked to the organizers I told them we wanted to stay in Erna’s house. She is a friendly lady and taking so good care of us. A big thanks to her for the delicious dinner, consisting of elkmeat, potatoes and vegetables!   Proudly she told me that Sandra Hansson, a strong swedish cross country skier, is her guest in wintertime and Birkebeiner rennet. I have now become her summer guest.
Rain at the start and rain all the way to Lillehammer. It was very cold. I did not know how I should race, what my tactics should be. My problems with my right leg was worrying me. I thought a passive way of riding might be the best way to come over the mountains.
It was very slow though and after 5km I went in the front. I did not attack, just rode a bit harder and noticed I was alone already with a gap of several meters. I continued the pace and my goal was to win the first sprint on Skramsatsaetra. I did that and just continued the same pace. I won with more than 11 minutes which surprises me. It was a nice way to end the season here in Norway.
Tonight there will be the prize giving ceremony on Elvegata, that is in the centre of Lillehammer. There will be so many people partying and having a good time. The Norwegians really know how to party.
We will continue with Wenche to Oppdal tomorrow morning and spend a few days in her families mountain cabin. We will do some mountainbiking and go hiking. I am really looking forward to the next days. The Norwegian nature is so beautiful.

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