I woke up with a whole lot of different feelings this morning, I was tired, happy, relieved and proud! I must admit that I was very nervous before the race yesterday, I have had a good season here in Sweden but in a mountainbike race anything can happen…. I had to change a lot of things on the bike after last weeks mudbath and I had a loan brake on since I had to order a new one and it had not arrived in time, so I was a bit worried that something would go wrong with the bike, but my Scott Spark ran like clockwork, not a single little noise came from it! I just love that bike!
It was a different start at this race, they had different batches and started us with 15 seconds in between! The elite men first, then us, then men 30, men 40 and so on. We had a climb of 2 km to start with and at the top the men 30 caught us and soon after also the men 40 and it was chaos with a very big bunch on a super fast gravel road! At the top of the climb I saw Åsa next to me so I was sure that she was in the same big bunch so I made sure to sit as far forward as I could, after a few single tracks I could not see any other girls and I was in a good group of around 10-15 guys. The pace was high and I had to dig deep to stay in the group. The thought that I was doing something stupid to burn myself out did cross my mind… But I did everything I could to stay with them as long as possible and managed about 60 kms before I had to let them go. With around 8 km to go at the start of a long climb I heard someone shouting that Åsa was about 4-5 minutes behind and in a group, it would be easy to eat up that time if my legs would give in. So I just decided not to feel my legs and just shut down all thoughts and went as hard as I possibly could, I really wanted that jersey!! I could not have gone any faster in the last 4 kms as I pushed hard every meter, with 400 meters to go I looked back to make sure I was first, I did not know then that I had a lead of over 9 minutes, and only then could I relax and realise that I would be able to wear that jersey for another year! I was exhausted and so so happy!
A huge thank you to everyone around me who helps me so much to make this possible for me!! Especially to my mom and brother (who stepped in when my dad was away) for the support on the day! And to all my sponsors, I could not do this without you!
Nervous before start
Fast in the beginning
On the trails
Looking back to see if I am still first...
Happy to celebrate another year in yellow and blue