Grenserittet is a festive and fun race to do, the second largest in Norway with about 5000 riders. We start in Sweden and finish in Norway. Craig and I went to Strömstad for a few days earlier to ride on the course and see a bit of that part of the country, unfortunately as so many other days this summer we were riding in rain…. Last year at this race I posted a photo on Facebook that showed that I was riding in the area and a childhood friend, who literally lives on the route, saw it, thanks to that pic we met up after over 20 years! This year we planned to meet up again, maybe it is the start of a tradition!? I also got the best fan club along the route and at the finish! Thanks Therese and family for the support, it helped!
For the first time in the history of the race the ladies had our own start group and our own race with no interference with the men. We started as group number 4, 3 min behind the group in front and 7 min ahead of the group behind us. We were 50 girls starting together but already after 6km, on the second climb, it was Hildegunn, Borghild and I who got away and we worked together the whole race to stay clear from the other girls. There were a few small attacks but nothing serious. Personally I wanted an even higher pace without attacks and then a sprint since I like this sprint and it suits me. It worked very well with the men, we started catching them early on but they did not get in the way at all, even though they sat our wheels a lot;). But with 2km to go and we started to play the tactical game and might have slowed down a bit, did they start to mess with us, some guy had to attack and we went with and chaos started. I had a clear plan but when we were approaching the last hill I did not dare to stick to it because of the risk of getting stuck behind, I went to the front and pushed hard up the short climb and was first through the first corner. For some strange reason I looked back and I saw Borghild a bit back, and a person in light coloured kit who I thought was Hildegunn, so I thought it was safe, but as I looked forward I saw Hildegunn in the corner of my eye on my other side and had to get going again. I know and always think that a race is not over until you cross the finish line so I have no idea why I looked back, it could have costed me the win. We sprinted hard and all I wanted was to reach that line, as I approached it I threw the bike forward as in a road sprint and that might have given me the win!
The organisers had to look at the photofinsih and they interviewed us before we were told who had won, it was nerve wracking! It was such a relief and great feeling when they told us that I had won with, what they said, about 4,5 cm!!! It was close!!!
A huge thank you to the organisation for making it a ladies only race for us! It is a much fairer race when we race each other and not the men! I would recommend anyone to do this race, it is such a nice event! Thank you to Craig for all the help before and during the race, we are a great team! Thank you to CBC and ÅBRO for making it possible for me to go to great races like this, I am forever grateful!
The 3 of us with some men on our wheels
It was close!
Podium with Hildegunn and Borghild
Lots of people
Bordercrossing on the bike
We also had time for some sightseeing, here is Craig in front of the "Stoneship" from around 600AC.