World Championship XCM

Fourth place at the worlds is not something worth to mention, or maybe it is? I must say I am satisfied, because I knew I did my best. There were three other riders stronger than me and then there are no explanations or excuses.
The start was fast and I noticed right away this was not going to be my day. Already the days before the race I noticed the freshness you have when you are in good shape had somehow disappeared during the days between the European Champs and the Worlds. It is hard to explain what this feeling is, but when you are in good shape riding fast doesn’t hurt. Now my legs were hurting, a bad sign.
I stayed calm and tried to ride in the big bunch as economical as possible. It was not always easy, because many riders did stupid mistakes, both uphill and downhill. I had to run a couple of time because the rider in front of me did not make the climbs by riding her bike. Also it was important to be as far up in the front in the down hills. Too far behind was the same as doing small sprints every now and then. Waste of energy.
So I was riding in the bunch, trying to save my energy and hoping for better legs, that I knew I would not get. As the last 40km of the race started the speed was screwed up a bit. The group blew into pieces and I had the feeling I was blowing up too. I tried and fought to stay with the top four riders, but with about 20km to go I just had to give up. I felt like throwing up, just did not care anymore. I was riding in fifth position, but did not care anymore. To be fifth or tenth makes no difference. I was cheered by Swedish, Norwegian Fans, and naturally my family was there to tell me I have to keep on fighting. Anything can happen in a marathon race. I found a new good rhythm and was pedalling as hard as I could. With one km to go I was surprised to see that I almost had caught Elisabeth Brandau. Fourth place was so close now. With 700 meters to go I caught her, knew I have to take the last to corners in the front to be able to. So I did and crossed the finish line tired but satisfied.
I haven’t analyzed the last month yet, but will do it with my coach. There were some mistakes we did, but it is good to learn from them and not do the same mistakes another time. This year was also a bit special with both European Championships and World Championships within 2 weeks. I think for me the recovery time was not long enough.
Now I am getting ready for the Finnish Championships in TT and RR coming weekend. I am looking very much forward to these two events and with these races ‘projectLondon’ also starts. A project where my goal is to qualify for a spot at the Olympics 2012 in road racing. Exciting months ahead of me for sure.

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