I was really looking forward to this race: the World Championships cross triathlon in Zittau, Germany.
I competed several times before in this race, know the course and I like it very much. I knew it would be a fantastic event with every good cross triathlon atletes from all over the world. The Americans were there, the Canadians, a Bermuda girl who wins every big Xterra she starts, an Australian who won bronze at the Olympics in London and all the Europeans. Everybody was there.
An amazing start field and actually it felt like an honour to race against all these atletes and be part of this race.
The story about the stolen bikes is known, and Storck bicycles was unbelievably helpful. On Tuesday a new bike was delivered at the campsite where we were staying! My preparation wasn’t messed up because of this great support. On wednesday I could pre ride the course on my new Rebel Seven. It felt good. The bike was fantastic and I felt rested after Xterra Czech. The course was great as always. Lot of climbing, some rocky technical downhills and a few new funny single tracks in the woods. On thursday I rode the course one last time, very easy with a few Dutchies. That was fun! And I felt ready.
On Friday it started to rain in the afternoon. Not just a little bit, no, a lot. It just didn’t stop. At night I woke up because I heard the rain and I had a bad feeling. I was scared. I had a bad experience in Tnatura Schluchsee with wet tree roots and I remember that still.
Saturday morning, race day, it still rained. I was so nervous. Nervous about the course and to race under these conditions. So I just wanted one thing: finish safe and in one piece.
At 14.15h the gun went off. A beach start and a non wetsuit swim in the not-so-warm lake. I had a good swim and jumped on the bike in the companionship of Austria Carina Wasle. Together we biked fast and catched up a lot of girls. The course had changed into a mud pool. It was nothing like the pre rides we did. And the hundreds of age groupers who raced in the morning, made the course even worse. Uphill it was okay, sure it was more heavy and technical, and some parts weren’t rideabel anymore, but it was okay. But in the first downhill I felt insecure and not safe. I was scared. And that is not a good thing. So the whole bike course went on like this; slippery, muddy, very muddy and scared. After a “ploptire” (don’t know how to call this; the tire went of the rim for a second, no flat, but lost a little air and i could fix it just to pump it up. Lost almost no time luckily), I tried to go on and did the best I could. And ofcourse, I was not the only one who was having problems with these conditions, that I kept in mind and I wanted to give it my all till the finish line. At the end of the bike course I got company from Dutchie Judy van de Berg and together we rode the last easy and fast part to the second transition. Because of my motto: it is over at the finish line, I ran as fast as I could, passed two girls in the run and finished 10th at the worlds.
And I am very satisfied with this result. It wasn’t my best day, I think I have to ride a lot more in the mud this winter :), but I am proud that I never gave up and gave it my all till the finish. I am so happy for my two friends Kathrin and Helena for taking (respectively) the win and the third spot at the worlds. And for friend and teammate Renata for taking the 7th spot with an incredible bike split.
The organisation did a fantastic job, it was absolutely a world class event. It was super to have Lars and my parents as supporters at the sideline.
Big thank you to Storck, Magura an Sram for making it possible to toe that start line!