Victory at Rund um Köln UCI 1.1
To be honest, I do not know how to explain how incredible this day was – it just felt awesome to cross the finish line first! It’s been now a while since my last victory, hence is this moment even more special to me as it is my first pro win for BORA-hansgrohe!
Not everything worked out the way we had planned at last Sunday’s race “Rund um Köln”. Sam Bennett was supposed to be the man we go for, as he was our fastest rider in sprints who is as well able to climb fast on mountains like they were at this race. Our plan was to make it a hard and fast race, just to put some pressure on the other strong teams who had sprinters in there line-up. This worked out quite well as just 40 riders were able to hold the pace. Nethertheless attack after attack followed. I made it into a 11-men breakaway. Soon was obvious that this breakaway was going to ride for the win as all big teams were represented. Hence we changed spontaneously our race tactic and I was allowed to go for the win.
I became panicky when we started to observe and attack each other when we were still 50k away from the finish. However, we were able to maintain our lead and made it onto the final lap. I wanted to win badly, but I knew that I needed to come solo as there were too many fast sprinters in my group. At two kilometers to go a man from Lotto-Jumbo attacked and everybody followed. And exactly this was my chance – I made the decisive attack and gained a little advantage. All or nothing was the name of the game at this moment! I took a risky last right turn onto the home stretch before I faced the headwind. I gave everything my legs had left, lactate was unbearable, my nervousness higher than ever before and the last 500 meters seemingly endless. I turned back several times, but nobody else was able to close the gap – I crossed the white finishing line first, I won!!!
THANK YOU to all people who support me nonstop and always believe in me! I was staggered by how many people congratulated me on this victory! Guys, this is motivating me so much 😉
Tomorrow I’ll continue racing at Tour of Slovenia UCI 2.1. before I’ll line up at the Austrian Road Championship on Sun, July 25th in Grein.
Stay tuned and cheers,
Copyright cover picture: Hennes Roth