This is a really cool venue. Its in a beautiful part of southwest Germany not very far from both France and Switzerland. It is a bonafide fruit basket. The apple and cherry trees are blooming. The strawberries are starting to fruit. This is a very famous area for German wines as well. The town of Durbach just a couple kms away is all vineyards. And once again, there are bike paths and nordic walking(??) paths everywhere. There are even some mountainbike trails.
The race went much better than last week. I got swarmed pretty bad at the start and was in the 40s or so. My legs were more alive this week and spunky. I felt like I was racing. I made it up to 24th and was feeling good about that. Then I had a bad shift and my chain went into the spokes. I had to take my wheel out to make it right. Its strange because I was doing that shift all race. After the race Bork figured out the hanger was bent. I must of hit it or something. Once I got going again, I realize that I was dying. Its funny how sometimes mishaps give you a ton of adreneline, but in this case it just took the wind out of my sails because it was so late in the effort. And then I crashed! Ouch. I was really hurting that last 3km. The course was only 5.1 km!
So I got 31st. Better than last week and 3rd american. (Georgia 13, Mary 16, Willow 46, Heather DNF) More importantly, I felt better. Again the level here is so high. I wathced the men's race with the other 15,000 beer drinking, brautwurst eating fans. Until you watch a world cup on European soil, you haven't witnessed racing at its pinnacle. It was so awesome seeing 230 riders come down the dual speed section. Then it was awesome seeing Adam Craig in the lead group. Then is was unbelievable seeing Julian Absolan make his move and go on the win, yet again. Adam ended up 7th, Todd 22nd, JHK 61,Broderick 90th? JB 90th?.
Its just so cool to have so many people coming out to watch XC races. It makes me feel like I'm not a geek. The promoters did an incredible job making spectator access very easy and making it a party atmosphere.
Tonite, the american teams of Luna, Gary Fisher and Trek are all getting together to go out to eat. We are eating at an Italian restaurant that Waldek says is the best that he has ever eaten at. And he has been around the world. I'm hoping next week isn't too awful boring. Zack is going home and Bork is going for a short trip by Ryan Air to Dulbin. We fly to Madrid on friday for the last world cup of this round.