I think I have the best parents in the world! On Friday morning we packed the car and drove for 7 hours to Varberg in the southern part of Sweden, so that I could do Bockstensturen on Saturday morning. After the race we drove the 7 hours home and arrived at midnight! Thanks dad for all the driving and mom for giving me the bottles, you are becoming an expert!
It was nice to see a fellow South African on the start line, Nico from Cape Town was in Norway for a few weeks and popped over to Sweden for the race!
I was not so nervous for this race, I almost felt that I was not focused enough and my legs also felt a bit stiff from the beginning and I struggled to get going. Bockstensturen is a 100km marathon race, it is a fast start and then you enter an area with lots of single tracks and then again fast roads to the finish. Emmy was going to be my biggest competition in this race and we were close to each other in the big bunch in the beginning, I passed her on the first hill after 15 kilometers only to have her stick to my wheel for the next 30 k’s! It was a bit irritating since she would not let go and also not come to the front to help, the guys in our bunch also did not want to help so I was pulling the group all the way. I felt stronger and stronger and I wanted her behind me when we got to the single tracks so I kept pulling the bunch. When we were approaching the first intermediate sprint and we came on to a gravel road I made the guys help, Emmy would never come to the front so she lost my wheel when the speed picked up and since I kept helping at the front. I made sure I was close to the front of the bunch when we hit the next single track, it is a better chance to get away and that was what happened, I heard someone having problems in the mud and a bit later I turned around and Emmy was gone. I could take the sprint and after that I never saw Emmy again but I never felt sure since I never knew how far behind she was.
It was a very muddy course and it made the race tough, a lot of energy went to just keeping the balance in the mud, it is also a longer race then normal in the national series, I was very tired when I came to the finish since I had been pushing as close to my max as I possibly could until the line!
It was a great feeling to win my last race of the Swedish season and also to win Bockstensturen for the 3rd consecutive time.
This made me take over the lead in the national series, but there is still one more race which I will not do so it all depends on the result of that race if I win or not.
I am really happy with my Swedish season 2014, I have done 8 races in Sweden/Norway and I won 6 and came second in 2!
I want to thank all my sponsors and supporters for this!! My mom and dad for all their time to come with me to races to drive and give me bottles! Thank you to coach Åsa for all the good training advice! A huge thank you to Cape Brewing Company, I would not be able to focus so much on my cycling without you! Thank you Pronghorn for the awesome bike, I feel so comfortable on it! GripGrab for the best gloves, Kalas Sportswear for great cycling kit, Continental SA for my tyres, Enervit Sweden for my energy during the races during the Swedish season, ICA Maxi Falun for the support, Fysiocenter for great gym training, and of course Craig for always being there for me even if you have been on the other side of the world during this season! Thank you to all of you!
I will leave Sweden in 3 days time to fly to Atle in the northen part of Norway for the Skaidi Extreme, I don’t know much about that race, I got invited to and it sounds like lots of fun, I will tell you all about it after! It will be a long trip from northen Norway to South Africa next week Sunday!
Since I last wrote I have been to Järvsö bike park to try some downhill cycling, it was lots and lots of fun! And I have also done another mountainbike orienteering race, it went well until the last control where I lost 5 minutes compared to my dad. We had 16 controls and you get all the time splits after, me and my dad were only seconds apart at every control until the last one, I think I must do some more training;). It is fun to do something different now and then:-)
Pulling the bunch
Some of the mud we had!
With Emmy on my wheel
Interview after the finish
Prize giving with Emmy in 2nd and Åsa in 3rd