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Go back in time with us and experience our second 2021 UCI Mountainbike World Cup.
It’s a 12 hour car ride to get there and apart from a few stops for gas and some tasty ice cream it’s an uneventful journey to get there.
We’re all tired after a whole day of driving so we get ourselves a quick snack and then we’re off to bed.
The sun is shining outside and Emil, Oscar and Jessica head off for a couple of laps on the course together with Emma Belforth, another Swedish rider. Back at base Håkan, Alexander and Mathias spends some time cleaning up the cars and trailer before starting to put everything into place, Jessica joins the crew and with the added muscles the setup is quickly in place.
Emil and Oscar helps with the finishing touches and then go for an easy ride back to our house. The sun is still up and we can enjoy a nice dinner outside on the terrace.
Once again the sun is shining when we wake up, this feels very promising. The official training on the course doesn’t start until Thursday so for now, the area is “open”. Jessica and Alexander takes advantage of the situation and went for a few laps with Emil. This time Maja Wloszczowska, a good friend of Emil, joined us.
From the house to the course, two laps on the course and back to the house was a nice ride of about 2 hours. After lunch we spend a few hours on some administrative work and other chores until it was time to get our mandatory covid-tests. Here in the Czech Republic they need to be renewed every 72 hours.
Rain is hammering down and the sun is nowhere to be seen. It’s the first day of official training on the course. Emil and Oscar quickly discovered how the rain has changed the course but both look forward to a muddy and slippery race. Tires and tire pressure is discussed in detail and preparations done accordingly.
The taps are still open when we wake up, the rain has been constant since yesterday. It’s official training for U23 so Oscar, Jessica, Mathias and Håkan heads for the arena. Jessica walks around the course looking for the best angles and places to shoot while Håkan and Mathias visits the tech- and feed zone.
When Oscar is done he hands the bike over to Håkan who makes sure it’s in mint condition. Back at base some of us goes for an easy spin and then we have dinner, listening to the rain still coming down outside.
We wake up to some dark clouds but no rain, for now, but more than likely it will start raining again. We already knew this was going to be a mud-fest and Oscar is very much looking forward to it. Oscar doesn’t start until 3PM so we can take it easy and have a nice breakfast at home, some of us even go for a little morning spin.
Oscar has an easy spin on the rollers and then we head to the arena. At 11:30 the rain start pouring down again and we take cover and enjoy a cappuccino while Emil is having his official training.
Oscar starts warming up at about 13:30, he usually prefers a longer and easier warmup for races like these. Danish Victor Philipsen joins him on a roller in the tent.
Time to line up and Oscar has number 131 on the front of his bike which means a starting position way back. But he is excited to get going and start to overtake as many as possible on the muddy and tricky course with huge roots and slippery slopes.
The race is on and Oscar shows that he is more than comfortable with the conditions, steadily climbing up through the field in a composed and powerful manner. The rain hasn’t stopped and keeps making the course even harder as the riders leaves their mark on the terrain.
Oscar has a great day and finishes in P20, an amazing accomplishment and one that comes with a bonus of UCI points that will help him to a better starting position in the next event.
Alexander brings out the power washer to get the worst mud off of Oscar and we get ready to head back to our house. But first we need to get our covid-tests.
It’s been a long and demanding day for all of us and after dinner we all wen’t to bed.
It’s a late start today as well so Emil starts his preparations at home. Oscar and Alexander heads out for a short ride while Jessica prepares here camera gear.
The first of us leaves for the arena at 10:20, Jessica’s mission is to shoot the women elite while Alexander and Håkan will support Emma Belforth.
Mathias drops them off and then goes back to pick up Emil and Oscar.
While the women elite is racing Emil takes it easy in the RV and Håkan makes some final checkups on his bike.
At 2 PM Emil starts preparing and at 3 PM he heads to the start. Just like last weekend Emil starts way back and will have to fight hard to overtake in the slippery climbs and descents.
The course has seen thousands of riders now and is starting to be close to unrideable, even the guys in front has to jump off and run in 2-3 places on the track. Emil is having a hard time trying to overtake and has to run a lot.
He keeps a steady pace and keeps overtaking but isn’t having the best of days. He finishes in P73 and is not pleased. Only thing to do is get frustrated, work it out and be back stronger in Leogang.
We pack everything up and head for Praag where we will spend the night. Tomorrow morning we fly home while drivers Mathias and Håkan are already well on their way home and most likely will arrive in Sweden before us.
Thank you Germany and Czech Republic for these two weeks, see you soon Austria! 🇦🇹👊🏼