Well, I got the season opener out of the way. Unfortunately I wasn't going as well as I had hoped to and I was quite disappointed with my result. I knew that I probably wouldn't be able to repeat my performance from last year (a 4th place) - with the scramble for Olympic points and double as many women signed up (with 10 out of the 30 ranking in the world's top 50) the competition was going to be tougher from the outset. Annika Langvad lead from the start and pulled away quickly, finishing with a huge gap of 5min to the next person down, Blaza Klemencic. Third was Kristine Norgaard, a further 4min down. Then, from 4th place onwards the girls came in closer time gaps, and unfortunately I was towards the backend of those.
I didn't have a great start, with two girls closing in on me on either side so that I dropped back to stay out of trouble, but the main thing was that I just didn't have it in me today. I pushed as hard as I could, but just couldn't give any more. In the first or second lap I was still towards the front end of a chase group, but one by one I was overtaken by the girls behind me, loosing more and more ground - I felt I was going backwards! In the end I came in with a gap of over 16 minutes down on Annika - last year it was only 6 minutes.....
Of course I ask myself what has gone wrong - surely I am hoping to improve year by year, and my power figures show that I have gotten stronger - so why am I not doing any better in the results? Has my training been wrong? Have I started intensity too late? Should I have done more mtb specific training? Is my sickness from last week still holding me back? Was it wrong to fly out so close to the race (last year I came a day earlier)? Is it because I don't have Ryan here to support me? Or did I just have a bad race? I don't know. But I know it's early in the season and I've got plenty more chances to have a better race - the next one will be the 2nd round of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup, a HC stage race in the Macheras Mountains next weekend! :)
Thanks to Ninko from the Milka team for his mechanical help and Frederik for feed zone support.
Full results and report can be found on cyclingnews here. Photos from Marios Spyrou.
|1||Annika Langvad (Den) Easton Rockets||1:45:39|
|2||Blaza Klemencic (Slo) Felt Otztal X-Bionic||0:05:07|
|3||Kristine Nørgaard (Den) HMTBK||0:09:08|
|4||Janka Stevkova (Svk) CK Epk Dohnany||0:11:08|
|5||Anne Terpstra (Ned) MPL Specialized MTB Team||0:12:17|
|6||Rie Katayama (Jpn) Specialezed JPN||0:12:18|
|7||Laura Turpijn (Ned) Dutch National Team||0:12:55|
|8||Tatjana Dold (Ger) Easton Rockets||0:14:14|
|9||Iana Belomoyna (Ukr)||0:15:36|
|10||Asa Erlandsson (Swe) Swedish National Team||0:16:06|
|11||Melanie Spath (Ger) Cycleways||0:16:49|