European Championships in XCM

After Trans Germany I continued directly to Kleinzell where the European Championships in XCM were held today. We stayed in a very nice hotel. Having a good accomodation is very important, only then you can concentrate on what you have to do. For me it was important to recover and it was nice to have a beautiful garden and a river to swim in only a few meters away from our hotel room. I felt very tired until Thursday, i.e. it took me 4 days to recover from a 4-day stage race. Luckily I had people around me who almost did hide my bike from   me so I could not train. The week before the European Championships I only rode my bike 4 times. On the day before the race I felt strong, on the race day I felt even stronger. A heavy rain during the night had made the course muddy and slippery. I knew I had to be in the front in the downhill sections. In the first downhill I just heard how people crashed behind me. At that point I was happy to be in the front. Very early in the race me and Sally Bigham had made a gap to the other ones. The gap grew all the time and I knew it would be a battle between the two of us. I was not sure when I should make the serious attack. I noticed that Sally had to suffer a bit more than me in the climbs so I decided not to wait too long. After ridden 30km I made an attack that Sally could not more follow. For a while I was riding max speed, but very soon I tried to find a more moderate speed. There was still a lot of climbing to come and I wanted to have some power left for the last 30km. For a very long time the gap between us was about 1 minute, but towards the end it grew all the time. Exactly the way I have planned it. With the last km to go I knew I would win. I was happy and really enjoyed the moment I was riding over the finish line as European Champion.

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