5th at the European Champs

Jennie’s first ever European Championship!

“It was again a late start on Sunday, at 11.45, enough time to sit around and get nervous. We were lucky with the weather, it was sunny and warm even though it always rains here!”

“I had decided to be offensive and go out in the top and especially on the first single track. The 5km start loop got us going on a 3km gravel road hill, Sally led us out and on her wheel was Borghild Lövsedt from Norway and Christina Kollman from Austria (who I got to know during the Epic), I felt a bit stuck behind and did not find my space so I went to the front where I felt comfortable. The 3 of them passed me on a bend but I went to the front again a bit harder so that I could go first in to the 2km single track back to the venue. Since it was impossible to pass on that one, I came to the venue in the lead! By going in to the single track first I challenged my self since there was a narrow bridge, exactly the width of my handle bar, that I was a bit unsure of, by leading the bunch I HAD to make it! And I did;)

Loop two started with a hill on the tar that carried on to gravel when it got steeper, I was leading us up but when it got steeper Sally, Borghild and Christina got in front and got a few meters gap, I crested the top in 4th place. The technical downhill went well but on the next uphill I was passed by Tereza Hurikova from Chezch (she ended up winning), I could see her in front of me for another 10km without getting closer, I also saw Sally now and then up until 30km. After that I did not see anyone ahead or behind  so I was in 5th place through the whole race. It was a great course, lots of single tracks which I loved, and a lot of ups and downs, we climbed 1900 meters in 75km of riding but it did not feel like that much climbing. Tereza won ahead of Sally who had passed the other 2, Borghild ended 3rd and Christina 4th.

I am happy with my 5th place at my first European Championship! The course was fun and Ballyhoura forest is a beautiful place for mountain biking, I would really recommend anyone to go there for a cycling holiday (if not going to South Africa of course!), fantastic! It was great having mom and dad with me to the race for some support and help, I could not have done it on my own! At the moment I am at Heathrow waiting for my connection to Cape Town, I will spend 2 days at home in (a rainy) Stellenbosch before heading to Pietermaritzburg for the World Championships in 2 weeks time.

A huge thank you to Cape Brewing Company for making my trip to the European Champs a reality! I am really grateful!”

Read more about Jennie’s race here.