It took a bit longer than usual to recover after last weekend's race, I think racing after the cold and then everything happening the afternoon after the race all made my body very tired. I was also a bit sore in the leg which I fell on in the crash last weekend, it was swollen and blue in the beginning of the week. Everything started to feel better towards the weekend and I was looking forward to Engelbrektsturen, this is probably the national series race which I have done the least number of times. Last time was in 2015. I also have very good and bad memories from here. I won my first ever marathon race in Sweden here in 2012 and I had a very bad crash in 2013 where I hit the deck only 200 meters from the start and spent the evening at the ER.
The course is flat and with a lot of gravel roads so it would be difficult to get away, my plan was to try at the climb up to the hill prize after 47 km. We were a big group of girls starting at 10.30 in lovely sunshine, 30 min before the men and then the fun riders. Again, a big thank you to the organizers who make separate women's starts for us so that we can have our own race!! Already after 5-6 km there was a slightly longer climb where we rode hard and shortly afterwards, I looked around and saw that it was only Emmy, I and Clara Lundmark (a road girl from Norberg) left. We rode well together and kept a good pace where everyone took turns. After about 32 kilometres, when we were on a single track, it got a bit too technical for Clara who dropped. Emmy and I rode together on the long gravel road sections until we got to the climb which took us to the hill prize. I went to the front and put some extra pressure and noticed that I quickly got a gap so I pushed a bit harder to get away and when I turned around 100 meters before the line I saw that I had a good gap. I had 20 kilometres to the finish and I just kept a steady pace without pushing too hard, I still wanted to save something in case I would get caught. It was a nice feeling to be on the last flat and straight road (with 3km left) and look back and not see anyone, winning bike races is always nice! I managed to win by 2.21 ahead of Emmy and my 5th win in the series this year.
The sky opened just after we finished, so we were lucky with the weather!
Interview before start. Photo: cykelkanalen.se
Off we go! Photo: cykelkanalen.se
On the first climb. Photo: cykelkanalen.se
On course. Photo: mtbfoto.se
Crossing the line. Photo: engelbrektsturens instagram
Happy winner ;) Photo: engelbrektsturens instagram
Podium med Sandra, Emmy, me, Clara and Jessica