Sorry for neglecting my blog. At least I want to write something about the national championships in my country, Austria, last weekend. It had been a big goal of mine at the beginning of the season (until the Copa de España, the Spanish road racing series, quite coincidentally turned into another goal).
Unfortunately in the weeks leading up to the race, I wasn’t in the shape I wanted to be. I had been holding a plateau from early spring on with races every weekend and my body was slowly but surely getting tired. During the last week before the championships I felt really bad, drained and lethargic… I rested a lot and was hoping to wake up my body on Saturday with a big dose of caffeine and adrenaline.
It kind of worked, I didn’t pull off an amazing performance but managed to do my “quite ok” watts. The course was hilly with about 240m of climbing over 18.8km. I planned to invest a bit more on the uphill parts and recover on the downhills; in the end I did 240w average (243 NP) and a speed of 40.8km/h.
When I crossed the finish I wasn’t happy with my performance; I had gone off a bit too hard and died on the first climb already. So when I heard I had come second behind Martina Ritter, whom I knew would be extremely hard to beat, I was very relieved. It was really the best result I could have hoped for in terms of position.
I have to thank many people who made this result possible. Having my family around was an enormous emotional support during these days. But also in terms of equipment people whom I hardly knew offered their help, big thanks to Peter for the disc wheel and to Manuel for the front wheel! And thanks to everyone who gave me valuable advice.
On Sunday during the road race my legs felt surprisingly good. Not great but better than the last two weeks. It was an interesting experience racing with the people of my home country, it was the very first time I did a road race here! I immediately got on well with everybody, there was much more collaboration and a friendlier atmosphere than in the races in France and Spain that I had done so far. The collaboration also meant that it was hard to break away; I tried twice and even got away for a few minutes, but the riders behind worked together to quickly bring me back. The course consisted of 4 laps of about 25km each with a short steep climb. It wasn’t a challenging climb per se, but Martina Ritter kept the pace high and the peloton shrank quickly. Only Christina Perchtold and I could follow her wheel. Later on a few riders joined us. It was in this group of six that bad luck struck me on the final lap in the form of an old lady crossing the street in front of us. The sudden movements of the riders around me trying to avoid her sent me flying to the ground.
I was taken to hospital, the good news was that I hadn’t broken any bones. The bad news is that now one week after the crash I still can’t train due to the bruises. I hope I recover quickly because after all I have to defend the leader’s jersey at the penultimate race of the Copa de España in two weeks…