This was my first real test at altitude (approx. 1,450m) after spending the 4 weeks prior training up high in Livigno. With a strong field registered I was excited to see what progress I’d made since my last race in Nove Mesto and how I would stack up against my competitors.
I felt strong early on and was able to establish a gap on the rest of the pack with the World #1 ranked rider, Gerhard Kerschbaumer. We’d stretched out to maybe a 20 sec lead at the end of lap 2 before he wiped out in front of me and I ended up plowing into him and going down too. By the time we had got going again the chasing group had caught us so we ended up sitting in for another couple of laps. With 4 laps to go, Gerhard took off again and I was the only rider who was able to follow. We quickly opened up a big gap with Gerhard setting a strong pace. With half a lap to go I was no longer able to keep up and he went on the take the win, and I finished about 20 secs back.
It was a great result at altitude and a sign that the time I’d spent up high was paying off. Also a big confidence boost the weekend before the next World Cup in Andorra.