Tour du Jura
One last time in 2019 it was time to pin on a number. The initial plan had been: do the 12 exams, go to Bulgaria for eight days with my sister and ride our bikes there and then go directly to Malaysia for another stage race. But this plan got interrupted when the stage race was suddenly sheduld one month later. So REMAX decided not to take part there.
This however meant, that I was able to totally enjoy my time in Sofia. But it also meant, that I spent my time doing endurance training and left out any intensity work. My last intervall session was probably three weeks ago. Well yes that doesn’t sound like the best preparation for a race and it really wasn’t.
Todays course was 8 laps with 1000 m of vertical gain. Right from the beginning the pace was set really high and one attack after the other followed. On the last 20 kms I had to settle in a smaller group because my energy was definetly not there anymore. In the end I got 10.
The more crazy, the better. That’s why I spontaneously decided to take place at a fixie criterium race. The idea was so extraordinary because a fixie is a bike without breaks, gears and no free-wheel. This means you have to pedal even while making a turn. But that’s not the craziest part because I know how to ride those kind of bikes. I used to ride fixie bikes on the track the last couple of years. But this time was different because the course was not on a regular circular lap but inmidst the city Zürich. For this event athletes from all over the world came here.
I had exactly 30 min of training on a fixie bike which I got from a friend and apart from that no experience at all. But I didn’t show that and got 5. in the qualifying heat out of 16 riders, 10 of them pros.
The final heat was three time the lenght of the qualifying (30km) and we did that with an average speed of 41.4, without breaks! I was always in a super good position and therefore able to sprint for the win in the end. But unfortunately my sprint didn’t quite match the sprint of the pros and that’s why ended up 7.
That race was the best of the whole saison because the spectators were just unbelievable. I hope I will be back on the startline next year.
But for now I need to do my final exams before I get my long-deserved holidays…
The weather forecast didn’t look too promising this time. It scheduled 30 Degrees. But I promised to some that I would go, so I went anyway.
The race was hard right from the start. We had to do 8 laps on a 8km circuit with 1000m of climbing in total. On lap 3, 5, 7 there was a mountain sprint. That’s why most riders were able to stay in the bunch for the first two laps and then got distanzed in the third one, like I did. But because of the tricky descent I was able to get back into the peloton, luckily not everyone got back and so were 13 riders left. Luckily I was able to organize a bidon-shower during the race and therefore was capable of cooling down a bit. One lap later I got a bidon from a kind supporter of another team. When you always go alone to those races you need to help yourself otherwise it’s just too hard.
When we did the mountain for the seventh time I got gaped again. But like the other time I got back. But that came as a surprise, I did not really believe that I could make it. I also managed to survive the last lap and therefore was in the position to sprint for place 4. Three riders got in a breakaway on lap 7. I gave everything that I had left for the sprint but only got 9, which means last of my group. But I’m still happy because it was a good race and I was the best U23 rider once again.
Once again the luck was on my side and the weather forecast scheduled rain for the whole day. Today’s course was a criterium on a 800m long lap which we had to do 50 times. Every five laps there were points to collect.
Right from the beginning I was able to get some points. Unfortunately though I never got the whole max of five points which means, in the end I had 10 points.
This placed me as 5. Considering that I was hardly ever on my bike the last couple of weeks and I’m not known as a sprinter, this result is extremely good for me.
Tour de feminine Czech Republic
Five stages within four days, that was the motto of the stage-race in Czech Republic. After not knowing whether I should even go to the race, (exam stress) I was glad that I went.
The first stage was 120 km long and had 1400 hm of climbing through a rolling Czech landscape. During the last 15 kms I had to let go the front group. Once again, I was totally overheated and on the finish line close to a collapse. Nevertheless, I needed only 56 s longer than the winner for the stage.
The stage on the second day was a bit shorter (104 km). I found myself within a smaller group at some point and was able to finish the race alright.
All the good things are three. That’s why the stage on the third day was a double-stage. A timetrial was on in the morning and a rolling 71 km in the afternoon. The plan was to take the TT as easy as possible without getting an “out of time”. The thought behind was, I was one of a few from the 150 cyclists who didn’t have a TT-bike. Also I didn’t set any focus on my TT-skills during the year. So I wanted to save as much energy as possible in the morning in order to ride a good stage in the afternoon. The plan worked out perfectly. During my TT it was raining cats and dogs and I was in my element. I was enjoying it that much that I ended up riding 3 minutes faster than the previously calculated maximal finish time. The luck was on my side because in the afternoon it rained again. I was so happy about that, that I was able to sprint for place two in the end. I ended up 25. But that is my best ever result in a stage race and I am super happy about it.
The last stage was 91 km long. It didn’t look like it was going to rain soon and so I cooled myself down with some water on the starline. My team was going for the immediate sprint on km 7.9. That was the first time that I helped to build a sprint-train. Shortly before half-time I got distanced from the front group and found myself in a smaller group of 20 riders. Luckily the team car passed me at that point, and I was able to get a shower from one of our staff member. The max temp on that day was only 22 degrees. Nevertheless, I suffered a lot because of it. Then finally, during the last 6 km it rained again. I finished that race in the top 50.
In the general ranking I placed myself as 56. Which means I am in the better first half of all classified riders.
Swiss Champs Thurgau
The most important race took place today. My motivation though wasn’t skyhigh. Two weeks ago, I’ve already had a look on the parcour. On my opinion the climbs were too short but steep and the downhill too easy and too late.
Nevertheless, at 7:30 a.m I made my way to the starline. The first four laps were on a relatively flat course with only 120 hm of climbing per lap. I wasn’t struggling too much with it and was even able to animate the race.
After that, two laps with 320 hm of climbing followed. With high speed we went into the first hill. At the end of it I wasn’t in the front group anymore and had to ride with a group of 5 riders.
As we passed the feed zone I was lucky enough to get a bottle of water which allowed me to cool down a bit. At that point I was overheated and had trouble with breathing. As we rode that hill for the last time, we did it a bit slower. This though didn’t mean I had not to push to the max. I was really suffering by then.
In the end my sprint for place 9. was terrible which made me finish as 12. The good thing is, I was the best U23 rider!
Once again I was the lucky one and was able to ride to the startline of today’s race. On the schedule was a 78 km long hilly course which was ridden together with the U19 boys.
The speed was really high right from the beginning. I survived the first 1,5 laps in the first group but had to let them go as we undertook the second uphill. After that I rode with two other cyclists. After a while we were able to collect a lot of cyclist from ahead. Because we weren’t the only ones that struggled with the pace in front. But in order to see all those riders again we had to ride fast. I was only able to take a short breath in the downhill. Even on the flat we hit 40km/h.
It was extremely hot (or at least in my opinion) which made me suffer a lot. After 43 kms I once again had to let my group ride on and rode to the finish line on my own. The good thing, nobody was able to overtake me from behind. The bad thing, it wasn’t getting any cooler…
I got 9. out of 15 women
The race took off an hour away from where I live. So I was able to go there on my bike. Todays race was a 7 km course which we had to do 12 times. The difficulty however was not the lenght but the fact that we had to do it with the U19 boys.
Unfortunately though there was a crash at km 22 excactly in front of me which made me go down aswell. Luckily the bike didn’t look damaged. I had only lost one of my drink bottles and got a bleeding knee. I was able to chase back the peloton with another man who had crashed aswell. After two long laps we finally made it back. 20 km later though, my energy level was going down to zero and I had to let them go. The last three laps I was riding with another girl. In the end I came 8.
Omloop van de ijsseldelta WE 1.2
After an approximately 10 hours drive to the Netherland on Friaday evening we finally arrived there at around midnight. The race started the next morning and was a flat 132 km race around Zwolle. The wind was blowing that strong that at one point it was not even sure whether the race could even take place.
In the end the start shot went off and already after the neutralisation zone the first echalons got builded. The whole Remax Cycling Team was in a 20 cyclist group right behind the front group. The race was extremely hard and our group got smaller and smaller as the race went on. As soon as you were on the edge of the wind you had to let go and your race was over. Apart from that nearly every rider once rode/fall in the ditch or touched the grass.
Unfortunately I lost my bidon at around 10 km into the race because there was something wrong with my closure. I tried to fix that and at the same time someone touched my backwheel so I had to let go of it. Our staff was positioned at 95km to provide us with new bidons. Which meant I had only half a liter of liquid for the first 95 kms. That was really hard for me. Usually I drink about three bottles in that time…
Then finally I got that bottle at 94 kms. But the happiness didn’t last long. One km later the race organizer told us: „The race is over“. We thought we didn’t hear right but it was true. Apparently we rode too slowly (At that point we had more than 37km/h in a wind which was almost an hurricane!). We were all really frustrated and once we saw that only 28 riders crossed the finish line out of 115 we couldn’t understand that decision.
Grand-Prix Cham-Hagendorn WE 1.2
I was in doubt whether I wanted to take part in todays race or not. I was barely able to spend time on my bike during the week and was constantly suffering from headaches. Which was still a late-effect from the crash in LX. Finally though I decided to try this 111.6 km race out. Considering the fact, that it was the most important women race in Switzerland.
Already from the start on the speed was very high and we were just flying over the hilly course. At about half-time I lost contact to the main-group because of a nearly-crash. I rode in a smaller group for the next two laps. Then we managed to get back to the front group. Unfortunately though our legs were already more tired then those in front and so our group regrouped again after the climb. The following laps were ridden in a quite easy pace. Only in the last of those 12 laps three women attacked from our group (15 cyclists). The rest of us sprinted for place 45. I managed to get 51.
Regarding the circumstances I’m quite happy with that result.
Now it’s time to recharge the battery before taking on the next WE 1.2 race in Holland in two-weeks time.
With tired legs and a body still stamped from the crash last week I made my way to the start line. When somebody rode into my front wheel 5 km after the start my disc wheel started making funny noises and it didn’t look proper anymore. So that was the moment when I really started to get worried. The 3,5km long and approximately 5% steep incline right at the start was already hurting on the first round. Unfortunately though two more would follow…
I had to let a lot of cyclists pass on that first hill. In the end I was stuck between two groups in front and one behind. I decided to slow down a bit and joined the group from behind. This seemed to be the right decision. We were around 8 cyclists and harmonized quite well. We rode a steady and fast pace. Shortly before the second finish-line-passage we saw the 10 women of the group ahead in front of us. We managed to join them right at the line. At the same time we lost three of our riders because they were juniors and only had two laps to do. So our timing was more than perfect.
Luckily the third and last lap was ridden much more slowly. (considering that at that point even crawling was hard enough for me). There was no point in going any faster because the groups ahead had around 8 min lead and from behind there was not much coming.
In a mysterious way I managed to cross the finish line as fourth from my group. Which resulted in place 14.
I am very glad that I was able to finish that race. Seemed everything to be against be today.
Festival Elsy Jacobs
Hello Luxembourg. Once again I was able to take part in a stage race with the REMAX Cycling team. The first stage took place on the 10. Mai and was a 2.7 km prolog. I survived but wasn’t able to show off but that wasn’t unexpected. Short efforts are not really my strongest point.
The second stage was a relatively flat 109 km. I was quite happy about the first 38 kms because there I managed to stay in the front of the peloton. Then we had to do a 1,4 km climb. Somehow I was still on the end of the peloton on top of the mountain at one moment and a couple of seconds later I found myself behind a girl who opened a gap. I couldn’t close it and so we had to see how the big group was riding away. Some other girls were coming from behind and so I could make it back to the peloton. Unfortunately, though, I was full in the wind and so had to let go again.
I was really frustrated after that. But what can you do…Enjoy the rain and save energy for tomorrow! Had to finish in the Grupetto.
The last stage was on the 12. Mai. It was a hilly 111 km race. The first 50 kms were the same like yesterday. So that meant the same long 1,4 climb… This time I made it better and stayed on the group till way after the climb. Actually, until the 80 km mark. There someone pushed me from the bike. I crashed hard on the ground and my handlebar was looking in a weird way. I wasn’t thinking about the crash too much. I used all my adrenaline to get back on my bike and kept riding. I was on my own but could make out another girl in front of me. Soon after I caught her and we rode together for the next 1,5 lap. Then I was too exhausted and had to let her go. This meant I was on my own for the last 1,5 laps. (15kms). It was so hard. I was giving everything I could and ignored my pain and everything else.
I made it to the finish line before anyone from behind was able to get close to me. But once I reached that line all the emotions, the effort and the crash came together. I had trouble with breathing and felt like vomiting. It took all my strength not to pass out and to keep breathing. I’m so glad that I finished the race even though I quitted it about 10 times in my head. Fall down, get up, straighten crown, carry on.
Prix du Saugeais
Snow in Mai. Yes you got that right. Today, 5. Mai I went to France in order to take part in a 51km race with roughly 1000 hm of climbing. This was the first race which I was doing with my new team REMAX Cycling. I was really excited because I love to race in minus temperature. That’s when my body works best.
We had three laps to do. The first one was quite easy because nobody did a proper warm-up beforehand as it was just too unpleasant. Then a small group went. We had two of our teammates in that group so me and the other two of my team didn’t chase and just stayed in the main peloton.
We always went full-on on the uphills and then nearly stood still again. So it was very difficult for me to stay in the group. But fortunately I was able to chase them back on the downhill as most of the girls were just too scared to go fast on the wet and slipperly surface. But I loved that section even though I nearly collided with a cat on the second lap…
Then on the third lap once again I got distanced from the peloton just before the top. So I gave all I could. Surpassed everyone and went solo away. It was still 10km till the finish line so I never really intended to stay away till the end but thought I would test how far I could go. It didn’t take too long till they had me back although the gap had been huge at the beginning… (after the downhill).
Then a bit later, one of my teammate attacked with another girl. I was a bit to slow to react and couldn’t stick to them. So I was trapped on my own between the two in front and the main bunch behind me. Once again I gave all I could and put my head down and rode as fast as I could. I stayed away till the end and secured a 7. place.
L’enfer du chablais
On the 14. of April the second race took place in Switzerland. For me it was an early wake-up-call as I had to take the train before six o’clock in the morning in order to be at the startline at 10:15 am.
The weather was supposed to be wet and snowy but it turned out that wasn’t the case in the western part of Switzerland. There, we only had to manage the wind and about 5 degrees.
The gun went off and so did the race. My legs were full of lactate after about 5 minutes and I dropped out of the main group. In the second round (out of 10) I made it back to the peloton but was forced out again very soon. From there on I was able to stick in a group of about 6 riders. It was a really really hard race because there was a lot of headwind and my group may not have been the front one but that didn’t mean we took it easy… My heartrate never really slowed down once the race started so I was pretty exhausted at the end of it.
The fun part about the race was, that every lap which consited of 9kms, had 1.5km off-road. That’s why I mounted my cheaper pair of wheels the day before. Luckily they did a good job and I didn’t puncture.
GP Crevoisier-Tour de la Courtine
On the 31. of March it was time to launch the start of the Swiss races. The first race took place in the canton of Jura and was 75 kms long with a 2km uphill on each of the 5 laps. I felt good during the race. There where a lot of attacks happening. I went with a couple of them but none survived untill finally one group made it. Unfortunately I wasn’t in that group. So after that group was able to make a gap to the mainfield the tempo dropped immensely and only got fast on the uphills again. That was quite annoying but there wasn’t much that I could have done. We had a strong headwind and it wasn’t much fun to be alone in the front. In the end I was in the second group and we sprinted for the ninth place. Sprinting is not my strongest leg so I was taking it a bit easier for the last 700m and lost about 10 places because of that…
Stage race Setmana Ciclista Valenciana
From the 21-24. February I was taking part at the stage race: Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. This was made possible through the team Remax Cycling who was able to take two guest cyclists with them. It had been four unbelievable good race days. It was the first time that I was able to race with the women whom I’ve only known from the TV and social medias so far. It was superb.
My expectations for the race were modest. I thought, if I make it to the finish line on the first stage that this would already be a huge achievement for me. Because my memories on my last stage race were still very vivid. That had been 1,5 years ago. I had been in France with the Swiss Cycling team and I had started at the race: „Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche“. Unfortunately that race had already ended for me on the first stage, after the first 10 km because I was syncopated.
That is way I made it to the start line of the first stage with a queasy feeling in my stomach. But my worries have been without any good reasons. Very quickly I found my way around in the big bunch of 170 cyclists, most of them pros. I was even able to make it to the finish line with most of them and only had to drop out for the endsprint.
And so it went on every day until I made it to the finish line of the last stage without any crashes and a big smile on my face.
That race gave me a lot of self-confidence. It was also a huge motivation for me to spend all those hours outside in our cold winter. Because I knew my shape was going to be tested very soon.
Furthermore that race gave me the opportunity to line up for another stage race with the Remax Cycling team. More of that soon. Stay tuned…