Jennie Stenerhag

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First race back - and a win :-)




Crossing the line. Photo: Evelina Utter DT

My first race was planned to be next weekend but since I had a few sessions last week where I did not feel anything in my leg I started to feel very tempted and ready to race. So I entered for Mörksuggejakten in Rättvik, only a 45 min drive away from where I live. I drove there on the Thursday to ride the course, which was good since it was 3 years since I last did this race and the course had changed a bit since then. That day was also my “4 months post op day”


I was very nervous in the morning on race day, I could feel the expectations from talking to people the day before, many thought I would just arrive there and win. My goal was just to finish the race and test my leg and see how long I could push hard before it would start to hurt, if I would make it up on the podium it would be a bonus but winning the race had not even crossed my mind. I was mostly nervous for the start, it is a big bunch and through town with all the corners and roundabouts etc…


I got to stand at the front together with Emil, in our Swedish champs kit but as soon as we had started I fell back, I just got further and further back in the bunch through town and felt relieved when we hit the long climb so that the bunch could spread out. I had seen Åsa, Louise and Emmy pass me but I never saw when I passed Louise. Half way up I could pass Emmy, she looked tired on the climb. I never reached Åsa so she took the hill prize at the top. I started to see her shortly after and could soon pass her. All that was in my mind was to push as hard as I could for as long as I could. It was very fast with the men and I lost some wheels and made sure to just ride my own lines and be safe, that was the most important. I got in to a bunch and helped as much as I could, now in the lead. When we had 40 km to go I started to get reports that Emmy was only 25 seconds behind me, I was really tired but repeated my goal: push as hard as I can for as long as I can. I went to the front a lot in my bunch to make sure we did not slow down, we caught another bunch but I just passed them to work harder. I did not want Emmy to catch, I could see her now and then and eventually with 10 km to go she even went in front of me for a few seconds. I just decided to stay in front of her on all the single tracks, that’s all I needed. With 2 km to go I had a lead of 8 seconds and it was getting exciting! I managed to keep pushing all the way to the finish to win by 15 seconds! I could not believe it!!!!!! It was an amazing feeling and felt like my biggest win ever!! I was most happy about how the leg felt, and that I managed to push hard for a full race, to win was just a bonus!! This only 4 months and 3 days after anchors were put in my sit bone to attach my hamstring, it was supposed to take 6 months until I could race!


I was completely finished but could just not stop smiling!! And it took me 2 hours and 15 minutes to pee in the cup for antidoping, I think I was a bit dehydrated since I did not have time to dring during the race.



The start. Photo: Evelina Utter DT

Amongst the men. Photo: Jonas Birgersson

The podium with Fanny, Maria, Emmy, I and Åsa. Photo: Dad

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