After all of the 6 races of this year's Bike Marathon Classics my dream became reality: I won the national Marathon Series in the middle distance category! I achieved a big goal for this season!
One of my goals for the season 2019 was to get on the podium in the overall ranking of the national marathon series "Bike Marathon Classics".
I started this mission at the Ortler Bike Marathon in South Tyrol, Italy. Due to some rules of the Italian Federation all licensed athletes had to start on the long distance. Luckily the organizers of the Swiss Series promised to count the points of the licensed U23 athletes for the middle distance as well. After some troubles, this really worked. My first result in the series was a strong 4th place. I was close to a podium, as I rode on 2nd place into the last uphill. There I was overtaken by two concurrents, but I'm not disappointed about my 4th place in this strong field!
At the next race, the BergiBike in the canton Fribourg, I got 2nd Overall. The winner got away early, but I was able to ride back to the 2nd placed rider after some problems on the longest uphill, and win the sprint against him! I was very proud of this result, as it is the best one of the whole season!
The 3rd round of the serie was the Eiger Bike Challenge. I really enjoyed the renewed track. The increased technical difficulty suits me! Unfortunately I had a crash just 4km before the finish. At this point, I was riding with an opponent and lost touch there. That made me unable to fight for a spot on the podium and got 4th in the Elite.
Just one week after the Swiss-Epic, the Nationalpark Bikemarathon was on the schedule. The longest race of the serie with hard 103km and almost 2900 meters of elevation gain was a really tough one, even though the weather was perfect. I suffered a lot, mostly on the very long and super steep climb up to the Chaschauna on 2700m above sealevel. After a little more than 100km, shortly before the finish, I was riding in a group of 3. And I won the final sprint, ended the race in 4th overall! But I lost 20min (!) to the winner Fadri Barandun. A local at this race, and a good friend I've already been to training camps with. But this day, he was riding in a league of his own.
The penultimate stage of the swiss marathon series took place in Alpnach OW.vorletzte Wertung fand in Alpnach OW statt. I've spent some days riding bikes in this area before, as my girlfriend is from this area.
The weather was as bad as it gets. The max temperature in the highest place of the race was about 4°C, and it was raining... I haven't had the best legs, the long and intensive season left its traces. But due to a bad signing of the track, many of my competitors took a wrong turn and lost some time, while did everything right, thanks to my track check a few weeks earlier. That's why I still got 4th overall. With this result, I already secured the overall title, with still one last race to be done! A big goal already achieved!
The last race of the serie was the Iron Bike Race in Einsiedeln. I didn't need to ride it, but of course I did it. The first 45km went very well. I was able to push hard, my power meter data shows pretty good values. But after about 45km, I could literally feel my energy reserves being drained. Every pedal stroke got harder and harder. On the last climb, just 3km before the finish, where almost all the riders need to run/walk, I got heavy cramps. This was the first time I experienced this, I couldn't bend my knee for some moments. So I lost some more time there, and rode to the 12th overall rank. But as I already won the series 2 weekends before, this was no huge drama for me. It just showed me that I need to be more careful when deciding which and how many races I want to race next season!
Overall, I'm very proud to win this serie. And I'm proud, that I could do all those races within one season, without any major accidents, illnesses or similar. Because each and every race counts to the series, no mechanicals or accidents are allowed. I had a very consistent season on a high level. Season goal achieved!