The first third of the German Cycling Cup was over after the race at the Hockenheimring, so we deserved a three-week break from racing. We have all used this break to train extensively, to race at home or to attend to family or professional obligations. Time has flown by and now it was that time again – the GCC race in Schleiz invited.
As soon as we arrived on Saturday, you could tell how happy most people were that racing was going on again. We took advantage of the good weather and hit the newly marked route. The organizers did a good job, the new route was inviting and offered the right sections for every type of driver. The 42 kilometers that had to be completed per lap led us mostly over small undulating roads that
promised to get steeper with every lap. After the quiet ride, we discussed the individual gradients and difficulties of the course in detail with our local driver Bernd. We quickly agreed that with this technical route, the most important thing is to always be at the front of the field in order to avoid falls and be able to parry attacks.
After such a trip you are hungry, so we used the insider tips from our Bernd again and found ourselves at a nice Italian restaurant. Then another ice cream and then off to the hotel. Of course you don't get to sleep early during the current World Cup. But even in a football game, no matter how exciting, one falls at some point
Close your eyes when a bike race like Schleiz is scheduled for the next day.
So the next morning we were still a bit sleepy at the start, but we were highly motivated to repeat last year's success of Daniel. Apparently we weren't alone with the tactic of driving at the front of the field right from the start, the other big teams also tried to be the first to turn into the narrow streets. The logical consequence of this driving style was a horrendous pace from the start and after just a few kilometers the field slowly began to crumble.
Shortly before the end of the first of three laps, the decisive group of the day formed on the steepest section of the route. We were well represented with three drivers, but still outnumbered Strassacker and Bürstner-Dümo (four drivers each). However, since Daniel had managed to catch up with the group compared to his direct opponent Sandro Kühmel in the fight for the overall ranking, from this point on Christian and I were in defiance
Outnumbered, speeding announced. Our goal was to let the group last and get Daniel in the top three.
After a while, the Strassacker team came to our help and took over part of the management work, as they saw their chance of success in the team classification. Bürstner-Dümo skilfully held back, since they had no advantage in enlarging the hole to Sandro Kühmel. In the meantime, he and his remaining helpers took over the lead in the main field and hoped to close the ever-growing gap again.
The decisive part of the race began on the last lap. Florian Vrecko (Strassacker) attacked about 20 kilometers from the finish and Christian and I decided to let him go because we hoped to prevent further attacks by the Strassacker team on their own man. The plan worked. Although we gave up the dream of winning the day, the rest of the group stayed together and Daniel's chances of sprinting onto the podium increased with every meter we got closer to the finish line.
When we turned onto the home stretch, the group still consisted of 10 men who were stalking each other up to 200 meters from the line. In the sprint, Daniel only had to admit defeat to Marek Bosniatzki, the winner from Leipzig, who was able to save even more reserves. With the third place for Daniel we have reached our goal and Daniel got the yellow one in Schleiz
Taking the overall leader's jersey off Sandro Kühmel's shoulders. We also extended our lead in the team classification, so all in all it was a very successful and enjoyable race weekend.
Now we continue in 12 days in Baunatal, where a new race of the series awaits us.
Until then all the best and best regards,