Bikepacking, Europe adventure

Anne-Marie and Sandra’s excellent adventure continues.

We arrived a couple of days before race day in Albstadt. Quite a contrast from Obertraun, we left the Austrian mountains behind and are now in a rolling, wild flower covered hill area. It’s hard to imagine that a World Cup actually happens here and it is actually a challenging one with some good climbs.

As I typically do, I chose the hôtel up the hill, a nice family own and operated hotel up one of the only climbs in the area. Trailheads a few meters away, views of a castle and tones of kilometres of fun cross country riding to do.

It’s impressive to see a small quiet European town get invaded by all these pro athletes, all the team’s and company’s tents and caravans. Mountain biking is such a big deal, it is pretty much taking over the town. Riders are everywhere and roads are closed, but residents do not seem the least bit annoyed.

I get to race my bike here 😁. Not with the pros, just a masters marathon race, but still, I get to race my bike in Germany. My brand new Liv Obsess advanced that we (Brad and Alessandro) built a day before I flew over.

Sandra pre road the course with me and as usual, we get the ugliest, rainiest day to ride our bikes for over 2 hours together. As always we have a lot of fun!

What did I get into? I zip tie my race plate, get on my bike (that I polished with Armour-all the night before) and line up with 350 people to ride 46km of road-gravel-grass-mud.

AWESOME! It wasn’t easy, but lots of fun. A mass start with so many people of all levels and spectators cheering everywhere on the course, I loved it! I was so exhausted when I finished, I grabbed some juice and pastries at the finish, road to the car, grabbed a large 6€ pizza, drove to my hotel room and poured my self a glass of wine.

Once I cooled down, I looked at the results and found out I finished 3rd 😁 I missed my podium photo, but got the ugly t-shirt. I want to do this again!

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