Jennie Stenerhag

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MTB Marathon World Championship 2013 - Austria


On Saturday I rode my first World Championships in cycling, I had to change discipline to get there:-) And it was the toughest course in history and I must admit it was really hard! 3700 meters of climbing in 85km!


I got selected to represent the Swedish national team and it was nice to put on the national team kit again, and this was the first time in MTB. The others in the team was Calle Friberg and Emmy Thelberg.


My preparation was not the best on the material side, I broke something on my bike 2 weeks before the race and some parts had to be ordered, then the bike shop discovered more things that were not in perfect condition and more parts had to be ordered, I only got my bike back in the afternoon the day before we left Sweden, got a bit nervous there… So was forced to use the road bike for training, and it actually worked fine:-)


We left for Austria on Wednesday and stayed in Aschau, a small little village a bit outside of Kirchberg where the race was, we actually stayed right on the race route. Unfortunately everyone else stayed in Kirchberg so never got to catch up with anyone. Thursday was spent checking parts of the route, we tried the first of 3 loops. Every loop had a climb of 10km and 1000 meters of climbing! After the first loop we took the cable car up to another top and tried the last downhill, a proper MTB downhill course of about 8km!  Lots of muddy roots, not really my thing!


Friday was spent resting after a short spin back home after I got a new tyre, thanks Dave for the help!!


It was a chilly Saturday morning with only 7-8 degrees at the start and just above 0 at the tops we were going up to, difficult to know how much clothes to wear, the wind jammer had to stay on for the downhills! We were 61 girls at the start and the first 8km were slow and worked as a good warm up! 

The race started at the first hill, I rode a long time together with Cathrine but I could not really hold on even though I saw her all the way up. The last 700 meters was on grass with a 19% average gradient! I did not have easy gears enough to cycle up that one!! 

The first downhill went very well and I caught up with Robyn De Groot and at the bottom also Cathrine, we rode a bit together and it felt like we were back in South Africa!:-)

So far the race felt really good and we started the second climb in a small group of 6-7 girls but it was soon scattered and I could not hold on. I did the rest of the climb on my own and also the next downhill and the 3rd climb. I have never done so much climbing in one day!! Every climb was closer to one hour! I was laying 22nd for a while but one girl passed me right at the top when my legs almost started cramping on the last few hundred meters of 15% gradient!


I wish the race had finished there, cause then it was time for the downhill course, it was even more muddy then when we trained the other day. Some parts I just felt that I could run faster than ride, so I did! I really went down there as fast as I could handle but I was still passed by a lot of girls and lost 7 minutes on a girl that I know that passed me at the top….


I know what I have to train on:-)


So I ended up on 28th place at my first World Champs, and considering I only started mountainbiking a year ago I guess it was ok, and happy just to have reached this far. Next year I will do my best for a better placing when the World Champs is on home soil in South Africa!:-) I will be back for more!


A big thank you to the Swedish Federation for prioritizing the Marathon World Champs! And especially thank you to Anders and Josefine who did a great job helping us! It has been a great weekend in Austria!


Well done Gun Rita for still being up there winning the World Champs, and so proud of my friends Sally and Esther on taking silver and bronze, you are awesome girls!!


Some more pictures:


On the first peak during training, it was really cold up here!


The bike got to go in the cable car on training day:-)


Part of the first hill!


Part of the second hill!




Antal kommentarer: 1

2013-07-02 22:45:07 - Nina van Niekerk,

Hi Jennie! Hope I can get this right this time ... I thoroughly enjoyed reading your race report and WELL DONE GIRL!! So proud to actually know someone who takes part in WORLD champs ... you are a star and I'm sure you will be right at the top next time round! :D
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