The Swedish Marathon series is made up of 9 races, to get the overall result they count your 6 best results for the season. The first race is in early May and I always miss it, then I had pneumonia and missed 2 races, the 4th one is on the same day as the World Champs, so when it was time for the 5th race I did my first for the season and my one goal for this season (to try and win the overall series) seamed very far away! It went well and I won 4 straight races and when I counted the points after Bockstensturen I realised that I had a good chance on winning the overall title, something that I have never done before. So I changed my plans so that I could stay in Sweden for the final race and at least give myself a chance to try. I have never raced Västgötaloppet before so I was also looking forward to a new one!
On Friday morning we left home for the final race and drove the 5 hours to Ulricehamn, I did my pre-race ride on parts of the course and it all felt good.
I was nervous before the start but as usual I did not even think about that as soon as we heard the start gun. I pushed hard on the first climb and paid for it later, since it was a very fast course I worked hard, as usual, to stay with guys who might be slightly too strong for me, maybe this is one of my weak points, I should rather back off and save the energy, but it is difficult. I was in a small group until we were done with the first loop of 40 km but lost them soon after we had started loop 2. I rode a bit on my own and then with a small group again. It was a hard day and my legs were really tired and unfortunately the last 5km was the most fun on the whole course but I was too tired to really enjoy it…
It was a very happy and relieved girl who crossed the finish line first in the race and as the overall winner of the Swedish MTB Marathon series.
I had 3 goals for this Swedish season, to win the series, to defend my title as the Swedish MTB Marathon Champion and to win CykelVasan which is the biggest MTB race in the country. And I managed to accomplish all 3 objectives!
All that is left now is to wash and pack the bikes since I will be a swallow tomorrow and fly to a warmer place!
I must send a special thank you to my parents who always are there for me to support and help at the races, we have become a very good team!! I could not do this without you two!!
And a huge thank you to Cape Brewing Company and their Swedish owner for supporting me during my time in Sweden, I cannot thank you enough for everything you do for me!
Route check the day before
My dad has just washed my bike outside our little cottage
Almost time for start
And we are off
In a small bunch
Such a nice feeling to cross the finish line as the winner of the series
Was soooo tired after
Prize giving for the intermediate sprints
Podium after the race, Sandra 2nd, me 1st and Nellie 3rd
Podium for the overall series, Ivanda 2nd, me 1st, Sandra 3rd and Nellie 4th