The 3rd RMVZOL was on Saturday. Although my legs weren’t fully recovered from Mallorca, I was so excited to race after a really successful training camp and I felt I had a really great chance to get on the podium. Sabrina Baumgartner and Jutta Steinen were the main rivals and I had already beaten Sabrina in the first of the three-race series.
There was a great atmosphere among the team before the race began. Jeannette and Mario Covi were out with cameras and we got some amazing photos.
The women started in the same block with a 1.15 minute lead over the Amateurs and Elite men. The first few laps were good. It started off at an ok pace but straight from the beginning I noticed that the juniors were really nervous and giddy. There was a lot of senseless sprinting at the front of the pack and solo break aways. Jutta was in one of these breakaways and I chased her down with the help of Geri Pachinger one of our Vet teammates. Although I tried to ignore the jittery bike handling of the juniors as much as possible it wasn’t always that easy.
After 2.5 laps, our group got caught by the Elites and Amateurs. That meant a bunch of about 60 or more riders swallowed us up. My goal this race was to be better positioned in the peloton and to play a more active role in the women’s race. That meant working harder at the front and being prepared to chase breakaways if they happened. I made sure I was positioned at the edge of the peloton and with Sabrina and Jutta in contact so when that big gang came along I wouldn’t be stuck in the inside of the Peloton where its much harder to get out.
Everything was going great. I felt good and I had strong legs. On the fourth lap Yves rode next to me and gave me some words of encouragement. He said I was going very strong and to keep it up.
Literally, within 5 seconds after Yves had spoken, the rider to my right rode straight into me – at full speed! I have no clue why other than perhaps he was pushed into me by the rider on his right. We were averaging about 40kmph and there was no way I could hold my line. I went down, in the middle of the pack and about 5 riders also came down with me (and on top of me), one of them was fellow team rider Oleksiy Mischchenko, and Markus Tollert a mate of mine. It took me a good few minutes to recover, then check my injuries. I felt really dizzy and I realized that the entire left side of my winter bib tights around my bum had been torn off, skin and all. Left knee, hip, chin, hand, and right little finger are all the worse for wear and I completely broke my 3T carbon handlebars.
On a much brighter note, Yves Covi triumphed again. After a really unfair 2nd race with some questionable handicapping of riders by the organization, the ST18 boys rode with vengeance to win the overall series. Yves on the podium and Reto Wälchli in 3rd place. Go guys!
Here is a pic of Yves just pipping Jan Keller over the finish line. To see more photos of the team in action check out our Facebook gallery.
So. Instead of licking my wounds. I’m going to race in the 3rd Frühlungs Cup in Brugg next Saturday with a couple of teammates. Maybe that will help the frustration I feel over Saturday’s race!