Jennie Stenerhag

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Victory in Stellenbosch


It has been a tough, fun and interesting weekend just passed. On Saturday I did my first MTB Marathon inSouth Africain 7 years!! Apparently I chose one of the toughest ones and my legs got to suffer from that decision :-) It was the 2nd leg of the MTN national marathon series and all the SA top ladies where there + 2 good Swiss riders (who finished 1st and 2nd). My goal for this race was to finish it in one piece (a lot of people reminded me of last year when I did my first MTB race and broke my elbow…) and to have fun, and also see if I enjoy mountainbike racing.


After about 18 kilometers, when we had been WALKING up some hills that were just too steep to ride, I was empty and could not understand that I still had 50km to go!! The route was though with the steep climbs, forests where we had to carry our bikes, loose sand, single tracks and corners all the time to always throw you out of rhythm. It was a long and painful ride in the heat but I guess fun in its own way. I was relieved to finish and did so in 7th position.


I tried to tell my self that I have done lots of stage races on the road so the next days road race was going to be a piece of cake… That was not true, my legs were so sore I could hardly walk down the stairs in the morning.


The start was about 1 km from my house, so luckily not such an early morning. After a few kilometres in to the race we hit Hellshoegte, the 4km hill here in Stellenbosch, my legs were sore and I got over the top in the second bunch. After a while we caught up with the first bunch and my legs were feeling better and better the longer we raced. Since none of the attacks stayed away it all came down to a bunch sprint, I think we were about 30 (6 girls) to the finish. With 1 km to go I sat on Sharons wheel, I could see how she was looking around for me, we were both afraid to get boxed in among the men, so when someone started the sprint with 300m to go I passed her and just went for it, I first thought I might have gone too early but managed to stay away and finished 3rd or 4th overall and first lady.


It felt very good to win, especially after that hard race yesterday!!


Waiting for the start of MTB race in Tulbagh


The start!


At the top of Hellshoegte in the Sundays road race


The bunch together with about 3km to go


Preparing for the sprint with 800 meters to go


Sharon, me and Helentje on the podium. 

Thank you Thule South Africa for my new kit!!


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