On Saturday 18th April 2019 I raced the UCI “Rocky Mountain Bike Marathon” in Willingen, one of the biggest Mountainbike events in Germany and also well known in whole Europe. 2000 participants were lined up and ready to race the extreme distance: a 116 km long track with 3220 meters of climbing. Among the participants were some super strong riders from some of the best teams in the marathon discipline: German Team Bulls with the Swiss champion Urs Huber, German rider Sascha Weber (Team Rocky Mountain) and the Dutch pro road rider and former Tour de France and Giro d’Italia stage winner Pieter Weening (Roompot-Charles).
We started at 7:30 in the morning and after the neutralized zone, we entered the first 3 kilometers long climb. Here a first selection was made and we were only 20 riders left in a small group. After waiting and observing my competitors I quickly found out that I had to take a chance for being able to win this race. Riders like the Swiss Champion Huber or Weber are much more explosive when it comes to a sprint, that’s why I had to race in a more aggressive way in order to put these riders under pressure. With 40 km to go, Weber, Huber, Weening and me were together and started to attack each other. Weening and Huber dropped as Sascha Weber was setting a crazy high pace on one of the last climbs. I also had to let Weber go as the speed was simply too high. Fortunaltely Weber didn’t get too much of a gab and I could more or less see him in front of me the whole time within 30-40 seconds. 12 km before the finish line, I managed to get back to Weber and dropped him at the same time in the climb. I won the race one minute ahead of Huber who passed Weber on the last kilometres.
Such a nice and absolute great victory!! Proved me once again that if you keep believing in yourself and keep a strong mind you can achieve anything.
A really important victory for me and my German sponsors.
I am so happy to be back on this level. Health problems kept me out of the game just before “Roc d`Ardenne” two weeks ago.
Next weekend I was supposed to race the UCI Marathon Series race in Portugal (Meda100) (26.05.19). This race has been rescheduled to the end of August due to the European elections.
The upcoming weeks I will race the UCI Marathon Series races in Poland (02.06.19) and in Czech Republic (09.06.19).
Cool after movie from Willingen Bike Festival:
Homepage/Facebook of the Bike Festival:
Some great articles from the race:
Hope to see you around,