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In July I’ll start at the ‘Salzkammergut Trophy’ in Bad Goisern, Austria. I want to be the first handicapped cyclist to take part in the long distance marathon at this event. 211km and 7100hm.
Long distance training on my Focus Raven max team started weeks ago and at the ‘Author Král Sumavy’ in Klatovy/Czech on the last weekend of May I already tried a long distance MTB race for the first time.
The long distance race, 110km and 3600hm, started at 07:30h. It was cloudy and not very warm. I was wearing Fingerless Summer Cycle Gloves. I started in the last part of the field, because I thought most other racers might be faster than me. I think I was the only handicapped cyclist in that race.
Once the race started I realized very quickly, that it was a mistake not to start from the front. I tried to overtake as many other racers as possible before we entered the first trail.
After 75 minutes I was able to race at my own speed. This is important for me because I have some coordination problems due to my handicap.
It was wet and muddy in the woods and I was glad that I was wearing my Sealskinz Socks with Hydrostop. But later in that race I got really wet. The track went through a river. It was too deep to keep on cycling, so I had to walk, trying not to slip and fall. Back on my bike, I got dry pretty fast after the next long climb. As soon as I was dry, we had to cross the river for a second time. Perfect timing.
The track and the landscape in Klatovy were amazing. It’s a really good organized MTB event. After 5:40h I finished the race. Pretty dirty and exhausted, but happy about my good result and performance. It was the longest competition I have ever raced.
I hope I can race as good in Bad Goisern at the Trophy, but that will definitely be much harder...
I’m leading the handicap ranking in the Marathon‐Man‐Europe right now. There are two more races to come. Overall I’m 15th out of 169 cyclists.