- Venue: Singen, Germany
- Date: 25 June 2017
- Distance: 97km
- Climbing: 2300m
- Position: 86th
- Time: 3h41
Compared to my previous participations in the World Champs, most of our team only arrived on the Friday before the event with Alban and Kris already well acquainted with the event, doing two laps of 49km and the untechnical nature of the event, it was not that necessary to do a detailed pre-ride of the course. I did however manage one lap of the route for my pre-race warmup.
The route was fast! It would be a race of attrition, who will be able to hang on to the pace will have a chance of victory. The route did not really have much flat sections, but constantly changed between going up and down. Some of the short climbs were steep and must have tested the durability of Alban's chain to the max! The biggest climb came halfway through the loop climbing about 150 vertical meters in 1,1km.
As I crossed the line our team staff stormed at me and I instantly knew something big happened and goosebumps formed all over my skin! Alban was World Champion!! Winning the race in a three way sprint, it was his fourth victory in this race, he knows how to win it, and can you believe it, he did it! It was a big victory for him and the XCM racers, Alban wasn't high on the bookie list after a rather mediocre start to his year, with the XCO and CX racers the biggest talking point, but so impressed our captain showed what he is made off, even better two more XCM racers Ferreira and Geismayr joining him on the podium.
For me it was a very disappointing day of racing. A race like this comes once a year and every last starter would like to get the most and his best performance out of it, and I know it was simply not my best for my current form. I direct comparison can be made with good legs last weekend racing on something similar, but my legs were so blocked and burning for this race, to keep the power over all the climbs was just not possible. I hanged in the front group of maybe 50 or 60 till a congested section after 12km got us walking and just broke everything in pieces, from there I was more than two minutes back and the legs just going slower and slower.
Kristian sadly also had a struggling day, a block hip probably the biggest reason for not being able to keep the tempo, but I know he will be back and get that jersey one day!
A big thank you must be for Canyon for the super special bikes especially for this day of racing! And thank you to all the staff for making our lives so easy.
Pictures | Stephan Biwald