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Sep11

Stellar season

valdi
As much as I’ve been in touch with my cycling I’ve been slightly out of touch with my website. The good news is that my season has been a stellar one. Topping my start into 2015 was going to be a challenge and even the most experienced riders doubt themselves when the World Cups start. With two 4th places in Nové Město (CZ) and Albstadt (DE) the first two rounds, however, kicked off really well.

My 21st place in Lenzerheide (CH) was the result of a hard battle against mechanical issues. My chain caused problems and a flat tire threw me back for good. Despite the setback I kept my morale and was rewarded with a win at the Bundesliga race in Titisee-Neustadt (DE) just a week later. That confirmed my expectations for a good second half of the World Cup season. I was quite happy to come second at Swiss Nats before heading overseas to Canada and the US. I really wanted to step up onto that podium…

Luck was on my side in Monte-Sainte-Anne (CA), Round 4: 3rd and finally back in the top three. This was my best result since 2011 (3rd in Val di Sole, Italy). Moving on to the Windham (USA) venue in the Catskill Mountains, two hours outside of New York, I managed to ride into the top 10 (9th).

Heading back to Europe I had two weeks to prepare for the finals in Val di Sole (ITA) and one month to go until worlds. I felt really good in Italy and crossing the finish line in 3rd I was only 22 seconds down from 1st and 17 seconds down from 2nd. Right after the race in Italy I spent the rest of my time preparing for Worlds at altitude.

The race venue in Vallnord (AND) lies at around 2000 meters above sea level. I chose to camp in my car at the race village to avoid having to sleep in the valley at significantly lower altitude. The excitement picked up when I got to ride the brand new Focus full suspension bike, a prototype, my team built up for me. In the days heading up to the race the weather was miserable and the course was changing by the minute. When we set off the track was very different from when we trained on it the day before. Slipping and sliding around everyone was battling with the altitude and its different effects. In the overall scheme of things I put up a good fight and am very happy with my 8th place in Andorra.

I can safely say that it’s been my best season since 2010 – the year i won a Worldcup in Champéry (Switzerland). In the next few weeks I plan to do a couple of other races (both MTB Cyclocross) before I’ll end my Season with the Olympic Testevent in Rio at the 11th of October.

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