August 18, 2014
“Vasaloppet is a historical cross country skiing race in Sweden, it started 90 years ago following the route King Vasa took when he escaped from the Danes back in the days. A few years ago the organisation started CykelVasan (The biking vasa), it quickly grew to the biggest MTB race in the country and this year it was 12.000 people riding. This feels like the Swedish MTB version of the Argus in South Africa!” – Jennie Stenerhag
“It was pouring down with rain and the thermometer showed 8 degrees for the start! We started with the elite men and most of the good amateurs. It is a very easy race in terms of terrain, the speed says it all, the race is 94km and we averaged 32,1km/h at a mountainbike race! It is more of a road race with big bunches and for us girls it is not much else to do then try to stay with as strong guys as we possibly can! My competition for the day would be Borghild and Hildegunn from Norway, the same girls as I met at Grenserittet, and Hanna who I am fighting with at the national series races. Borghild got the best start and got up the first 2km hill ahead of me and Hanna who were together from start to finish. After about 20km on a fast piece of tar we past Borghild laying on the tar after a crash, her race was over… It was just me and Hanna in the bunch but after 50km I suddenly saw Hildegunn who had caught us. This was just as we were approaching the hill sprint, it was really difficult to pass with all the guys around us, I just just managed to sneak pass Hildegunn on the side to take the sprint.
With 43km to go it is easy riding so I understood that it was going to come down to a sprint, unfortunately we were in a very big bunch, it felt like at least 50 guys, from the 5km to go mark I was the first girl cause I wanted it that way to take the sprint from the front. I felt really strong at this stage and knew I could beat both Hanna and Hildegunn in a sprint. Coming around the last corner with 300 meters to go I was still first and with 100 meters to go I started the final sprint and felt like I was flying, I was leading but suddenly I caught a bunch of guys who blocked my way and I had to stop my sprint and freewheel even though we still had around 20-30 meters to go, at that moment I saw Hildegunn coming on the side and just just taking the win, it was so close that I almost thought I was still going to be first. I am 100% sure that I would have taken it if I had a free runway or if the line had been at the spot where I had to stop sprinting.”
For more photos visit Jennie’s website, click here.
August 11, 2014
Women’ Day extended into being a great Women’s Weekend!
Congratulations to Jennie on Winning the Finnmarksturen #MTB race in Ludvika on Sunday (10 August)!
“This race is close to the place where I grew up so it feels a bit like a “home race” with lots of people I know along the route.” – Jennie Stenerhag (find Jennie’s race report below)
“Finnmarksturen in Ludvika was my first real race when I started cycling 11 years ago. The race was 120km in 2003 and I was really happy to be 1 hour behind the winning elite girl, it motivated me and my cycling career had started! I thought I was going to be a mountain biker but it changed to road and I only returned to Finnmarksturen in 2012 to finish in 3rd position, which I also did last year. This race is close to the place where I grew up so it feels a bit like a “home race” with lots of people I know along the route. All these things made it very special to step up on the highest place on the podium, a special race for me.
Halfway up the start hill it was me, Hanna and Emmy together, I pushed hard close to the top and we dropped Emmy. After about 10km, at the first spectator’s point, I heard the commentator saying that Hanna was on my wheel. I worked hard in the beginning to close gaps and try to go with better guys where possible. We came on to a gravel road and more people caught up and we were a big group when we approached a technical single track, 2 guys attacked to be first on to the single track and I went with them to enter 3rd. That was a good move since that was the last time I saw Hanna. Without getting any time gaps I had to work hard all the time, one can never be sure, especially when we are racing with the men. I took the hill sprint after 42km and after 50km my parents told me I had a 1 minute gap. It grew to 3,5 minutes by the finish.
It is a fun route with lots of single tracks and shorter hills, it is challenging and tough! I like this route a lot!
A special “well done” goes to my brother who did his first MTB race ever and loved it! He is now really motivated for CykelVasan, his big goal next weekend!”
View more of Jennie’s race photos in Ludvika here.
August 11, 2014
A GREAT weekend at Storms River Traverse!
This weekend (8-10 August) the beautiful Storms River Village hosted riders from all over who took on the 3-day mountain bike stage race! We are very proud of Team CBC, Anja Van Zyl & Karla Groenewald, who came FIRST in the All Woman Teams Category!
We are already looking forward to next year, what an adventurous and fun filled weekend it was! Visit the Oakpics Facebook Page for more photos from Day 1 & 2 of the race!
Day 1: Start
Day 2: First over the finish line (Day 1 & 2)
Day 2: Relaxing with a well deserved CBC Lager!
Day 2: Happy Women’s Day
Day 3: Overall Winners in the All Woman Teams Category
August 4, 2014
“Grenserittet is a race from Sweden to Norway and it is a great event! It counts as a Norwegian race and the finish is at the old Fredrikstens fort in Halden, it was a great atmosphere!” – Jennie Stenerhag
“I was entered for this race in 2011 but broke my collar bone a few weeks before. I entered again last year but had a crash in a race the weekend before and hurt my coccyx so badly that I could not race. So, this year was third time lucky and I could race!
Somehow it felt like a lot of things were different with this race, maybe because it was Norwegian… We had to walk together from the start chute to the start line about 500 meters. We then had a 2km neutral start until the timing matts where the race time started. The racing ladies started together with the men in start group 3. I did not know what to expect since I had not done this race before, the tactics were not to let Borghild go since my guess was that she would be the strongest opposition.
The course is 80km and relatively flat and mostly on smooth gravel roads with just a few sections of single track, it is easy riding which means that the bunch often stays together. Early on we were 4 girls at the front of the bunch, Hildegunn, Heidi and Borghild, the 3 girls who were on the podium last year, and me. We were stronger then the men in our bunch and sometimes it was a bit irritating having them sitting with us without really helping. I soon realised that it was going to come down to a sprint between the 4 of us, no one was going to get away on a course like this! The race ends with a narrow walking path on gravel up to the fort, with about 400 meters to go there is a short steep hill, at the top of the hill you hit the tar in a 90 degree corner and the finish line is about 200 meters down the road.
My plan was to attack early, with about 500 meters to go, but we had started to catch riders from earlier bunches so when we got there the narrow path was full of riders and made it impossible to follow any kind of plan! I managed to pass Borghild and Heidi but not Hildegunn who saw me and pushed me out. As we started the short climb I hear a crash behind me, Borghild and Heidi both fell! Hildegunn and I started the sprint on the uphill and were side by side when we hit the top of the hill, I was on the outside and she had the inside. I had to dig deep in my memory to find a road sprint;), I pushed all I had and manage to get a perfect sprint to win the race!! It was a great feeling winning such a big race in Norway!”
Read more about Jennie’s race here.