While the other cross-country racers prepared for the upcoming race season I was heading for a completely different aim during the last months, namely the birth of our first child. Now it is about 2 weeks until the due day and my husband Oli and me are really looking forward to our baby and the changes that will go along with a child in our life. So far, my pregnancy was really comfortable, so I was able to do almost everything quite normally, except from some small limitations, due to the growing belly :-). Hence, I also didn’t want to give up to do some sport. During the winter I went cross-country skiing. Now, during the weeks of my maternity protection, I enjoy riding my bike a little bit on the roads through the beautiful spring in the Dreisam valley. After all the years of my dual career with studying and working, respectively, and racing I really enjoy my free time and calm at the moment. Who knows how long this will still last :-). Anyway, we can’t wait for the birth of our baby.
I aimed for a good race in Albstadt not only because this race fits me due to its topographic profile but also because it was my home worldcup. As I had so start almost from last position the start was decisive for me. But I succeeded in riding the start loop without standing and waiting which was in one part thanks to the new start loop. However, I wasn’t able to finish this start loop faster than on a 60th position. Already in this phase of the race I recognized that I didn’t have a good day and that I won’t be able to ride further in the front. So I decided to make the best o fit, found my own speed and tryed to have fun in the downhills. I must admit that I had expected much more than a 61th place, but after the last four weeks without any races I have to accept things like they are. Furthermore, my competitors are on such a high level in this Olympic seasaon that it is not so easy to keep up with them.
Anyway, I had fun during the race and was really motivated by the big crowd that cheered also me on my back position. Thanks a lot!
The other German women presented much more better as we had 4 women under the top 13! Especially Elisabeth Brandau surprised with her 7th place which means the qualification for the Olympic Games also for her! Congratulations!
While most of my competitors gathered in Australia for the world cup kick-off I had to undergo a dental surgery. That was due to a bike crash during a training crash back in 2008. So I was forced to a training brake for 1 week. Actually not long, but the body gets deranged anyway. Until the last race in Montichiari my race shape improved quite well. With the 10th place there I even reached half a qualification for the European and the Worldchampionships. Unfortunately, this was not enough to be allowed to start at the European Championships in Jönköping. At least the circumstances matched quite well, because I didn’t feel ready for racing after my training brake at the weekend of the Europeans. That was also the reason why I cancelled the Hegau-Bike-Marathon in Singen I actually wanted to race instead.
So I enjoyed a nice alternative programme. First, I was invited to the 50th anniversary of my school. As former pupil and athlete I was supported by the Isnyer Modell, a special organisation to combine school and sport. I was invited to talk about my experiences with this organisation. It was a real pleasure to see my former class mate Maximilian Mechler (former ski jumper), many teachers and the new „old“ school building.
Instead of the marathon race I enjoyed a really nice ride on the road bike through the beautiful Allgäu at my parent’s home. I think that was exactly the right decision for the further preparation of the coming race season. Now I feel better step by step and I hope that things finally work out fine now. The next race, which will be the Worldcup in Albstadt, is going to come very soon. But I hope that I can show a good race there in spite.
After the short but really nice race trip to Italy I could draw a quite positive balance: Perfect sunny weather instead of pouring rain at home in Freiburg, Multivan camping inside the court of a really nice old guest house, where we enjoyed the extraordinary hospitality of Jacques and Anna (mille grazie!)- 9 scoops of delicious italian ice cream and a great 10th place after cathing up from the back because of a bad start. In addition, this brought me 22 UCI-points!
Furthermore I had a great time with the Norwegian and Swedish team which were supported by my husband. Thanks a lot for this great weekend!
All in all this was a great race weekend which showed me that it is worth continuing racing with all ist efforts.
The last two weeks I was on a training camp on Gran Canaria. My husband Oli attended to the Norwegian national team as physiotherapist. So I decided to come with him. And I haven’t regretted to do so :-). The mountains were quite steep, but we were rewarded with sunny weather every day. I didn’t want to ride my road bike over the mountains every day, so I was lucky about the opportunity to take Oli’s mountainbike. The Norwegians also trained on the mountainbike. I was allowed to train with them. This alternative training was really good and I really enjoyed it. Thanks a lot for the great time together!
Last week I had holiday and used these days for a little training camp. As I enjoy the early spring in Freiburg so much I didn’t want to fly to usual training camp locations like Mallorca. I preferred a staycation and enjoyed having time at home. In addition the training conditions around Freiburg are like perfect both on the road and for mountainbiking. And I was so lucky with my decision as the weather was sunny from my first day off. Additionally, the temperatures rose to a comfortable level for biking. Hence, it was warm enough to climb my favourite mountain, to the ‘Wiedener Eck’. In the region around the Kaiserstuhl I enjoyed beautiful rides through the hills and the vineyards. The trails around the Rosskopf were really dry so that I had great fun with my bike.
All in all I am really satisfied with my training camp and it really felt like holiday. Now I have to pass some intensive training sessions before the races start in few weeks.
Today I had the opportunity to make me familiar with my new race bike. Thanks to great service of Merida and my team I have kept my bike in our cellar for 1 month now. However, due to bad weather and muddy conditions in the country I didn’t want to ride this new bike through the dirt.
Now time is short so I had a little training ride with the bike today. This year I will ride the Big Seven again, but with the XX1 shift for the first time. That means 11 gears in the rear and only one chain ring in the front. Initially I had some doubts if this translation fits to my high cadenced riding style due to too big shifting steps.
However, every doubt was gone immediately during my test ride. The translation is perfect and totally convinced me! Both the spectrum and the steps are really optimally elaborated. No cumbersome shiftig of the chain rings any more.
I really had fun with my new bike and we became good new friends today :-).
I finished my race season 2014 with the victory in the Tälercup in Obermünstertal. All in all I can look back on a quite successful sesaon. I used my training brake in October to catch up things I missed out during the season due to lack of time. That is especially visiting friends and familiy at home during the weekends.
After this constantly good season I gained some self-confidence in racing and in my body again. Hence, I am now heading for the world’s top again. During this season I learned a lot in combining racing and working so that I am sure to benefit from these lessons next year. Therefore, I started motivated but a little bit more relaxed with my training in November.
After all, my season wouldn’t have been that successful without all the dear people around me who helped and motivated me and were happy about good results with me. I want to thank all these people, especially my team manager Klaus Dillmann and all the staff of the Team Merida-Schulte. I am so happy about being part of this team. And I am really looking forward to the next season together. Thanks also to my husband Oliver who supported me as physio and of any kind of manner. Thanks to my coach Toni Uecker who I have been working together with since my first season as licensed mountainbiker. Special thanks also to my family, friends, colleagues and fans who were happy with me about every little improvement this year.
I already knew the race course from the world cup last year. With its long and steep climbings and its technically demanding downhills it was a really tough course. But I liked it and was looking forward to the race. As Adelheid Morath became sick in the week before the race only two German Elite women took part in the race, Sabine Spitz and me.
My goal for the race was to have a good start and to fight for a position among the first 30 riders immediately after the start. But I unfortunately completely missed this plan. When the track became narrow for the first time I was in the back of the field and lost much time because of the jam. During the first lap a was then riding around position 45 and this was not where I wanted to be. My legs didn’t feel good in addition, but I decided to fight until I felt better. This was finally the case at the end oft he third lap. From then on I felt better and could ride more fluently. Step by step I could overtake riders. At the end I finished with a good 28th place. I was really happy about this.
Catherine Pendrel won the race before Irina Kalentieva and Lea Davison. Gunn-Rita Dahle was my favourite for the gold medal, but she unfortunately finished the race only on 9th place. That’s a pity, because I would have granted her winning the title in her home country so much.