After taking a few laps on the World Cup course I headed out to the course that I would be racing on. I was a little bummed to be doing a marathon race, after getting so pumped up by being at the world cup, but I was still hoping to have some fun. The course was 23k and although it was only on dirt and paved roads, the surroundings were absolutely beautiful.
I rushed towards the start as hundreds of men and woman already began to pile up. I was able to squeeze into an ok spot, but was still a ways from the start line. We waited for the gun to fire under the UCI world cup arch. Bam! Slowly we peddled behind the pacing motorcycle. Everyone trying to slip their way towards the front. I was doing the same, trying to pass as many people as I could, while I could, and before we began the race. Then the speed rose and we headed into the dirt road. Hammering and trying make may way through the huge field. As we reached the first straight away I was all alone. I knew I needed to draft through the wind and there was a group close ahead. I put my head down and pushed to reach them. Finally I got within a group and we traveled together down the road. I stayed with this group of about seven throughout the race. Passing people and dropping people along the way. We worked together as we got closer towards the finish. I was working hard and enjoying this new experience. I wasn’t the best at road tactics, but I was feeling pretty good about my race so far. I was getting closed towards the finish and a few of the guys turned off for another lap. I had no idea were the girls were or what place I was in, but I put my head down once again and raced to the finish. I made my way around the final turn and across the finish line. Few... first Euro marathon race down. And with a Nutella banana crepe in my hands, I learned that I was the second woman to cross the line.
I have had the most incredible time traveling around Europe while learning and experiencing so many things on and off the bike. I really can't thank my family, sponsors, coach, and friends enough!
Now we are riding our bikes through the beautiful landscape of Switzerland. Soon we will make our way back to Holzgerlingen, Germany and then fly home. It's been one incredible journey so far!