Marathon World Champs in Pietermaritzburg!
“I got a 7th place at my second World Champs, a few steps up from my 28th place last year. The course was awesome and really tough as a World Champ course should be! We rode through some amazing places and I think all the foreign cyclists really got an African experience out there, if they had time to look around. Tomorrow I will leave my one home to go to the other one!” – Jennie Stenerhag
“I was a bit nervous before the start, but just enough to feel ready to race. I got a good start after a bit of elbowing with the other girls for position. We became a group of 7 very early on and it spread out on the single track but came back together on the gravel roads. After about 5km 3 girls got away and it was the 3 of them that would take the podium positions in the end.
We went down a muddy downhill single track just after the first water point, I was on Arianes wheel and then as I crossed a bridge my wheels just disappeared under me… and I found myself on the ground with the bike on top, I lost some time since I struggled to get the chain back on. I soon saw Robyn again, she had passed me when I fell, then I fell again. My wheels gave way in some mud and there I was laying once more. I worked hard to catch Robyn on the first long uphill to water point 2 which was after 14km. We were together there in 6th and 7th position. We rode nicely together and we chatted a bit and decided to work together to try and catch the 2 Swiss riders, Esther and Ariane, who we could see now and then (but we never managed to do so).
After 28km we got to the portage section, it was a 2km stretch with 5 sections of tricky steep descending where we had to walk, I think we lost some time there but rather safe then sorry! The second long climb went well and also the technical descend that took us to the start of the last long climb of the day. Around half way up I lost Robyn, I just could not hold on, I could see her about 100-300 meters ahead up until water point 6 which was after 61km but without getting closer. The last 13km were the most technical and most fun part of the course, I had lots of fun and it was a great feeling to finish off the World Champs on the hand built single tracks that were also used in the XC world cup a few months ago.”
Read more about Jennie’s stay with Topeak and her experience at the World Champs here.