The Italians certainly know how to put on a good race! Montichiari proved to be yet another great race course with an amazing atmosphere thanks to the passionate spectators. I started on the 3rd row and was able to make up a few positions on the super fast start to put myself around 10th position into the singletrack. When you start on the 3rd or fourth row you need to be both patient and super aggressive. You need to know when the right time to seize an opportunity is and be completely in the moment or you will lose the chance of picking up another position on the congested start/first lap. Each position is crucial so the first 10 minutes of the race are always super hectic as everyone jostles for position.
After the first lap is over everyone has found their rhythm and usually continues at that intensity/pace for the rest of the race. Once again I felt really strong in the race and was able to attack up all the short punchy climbs and pick up time on the riders in front of me each lap, also managing to ride the muddy downhills smoothly and consistently to put myself in 2nd position by the end of the race. In my opinion this was my best race of the season and I look forward to coming back to race in Italy again next weekend!