I was keen to get one more race in the legs before the World Cups begin in Nove Mesto and the closest drive to a race that I could see on the Calendar was a Cat 2 event in Ottenschlag im Mühlkreis, Austria. Although the race was in its 23rd year I had never been there before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from the venue or course. On Saturday I went and checked out the course and I was pleasantly surprised by a nice relaxed venue and a fun, undulating racetrack.
The start list was stacked with top riders from all over the globe turning up for one last hit-out before the World Cups and World Champs. I set the pace on the first lap before World #3 Gerhard Kerschbaumer took over and set a blistering pace for the majority of the race. Lap by lap the front group whittled down until there were just 5 left with 2 laps to go. I was 3rd wheel when Gerhard opened up a gap on 2nd place with just over a lap to go.
I felt like I was probably in a race for second place after he broke away, but I dug deep on the last lap and gradually pegged him back. I caught him not long before the finish and as he was starting to fade, I kept the pace on through the final short section in the woods. I opened up a small 10m gap which I could hold on the final drag to the finish line.
It was a great feeling to get a win over a World Class field and it gives me great confidence heading into the first World Cup round and World Champs in a couple of weeks’ time. A big thanks to my girlfriend Nicola for all her help over the weekend too.