World Cup in Albstadt – pain land

6 Jun

You might already know that from Nove Mesto, I’ve went with Voicu for the World Cup in Germany, Albstadt. In our way we stopped in Buggingen at Tune factory and h.q. for a visit and then we’ve rested and prepared in Obereggenen, the heart of Schwarzwald (Black Forest).

First I will start with out visit at Tune, which is one of my sponsors for the last few years. For me was like getting into a candy shop. It was incredible to see how these parts are made, but also to meet the whole crew. The labor isn’t that simple and now I understand how much it takes to get something like that. But I will make another article to show you everything, I promise.

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Then we’ve stayed a few day at their hotel: Landhotel Graf. ¬†Such a great place for relaxation, but also for bike riding. The trails/paths network is so diverse. For example we went in a 3.5h ride from Germany to Switzerland, France and back to Germany. Their relaxed way of living isn’t compared with anything here in Romania. That’s why they might be happier and work with more pleasure, of course being much more productive.

On Thursday we arrived finally in Albstadt, I saw the course and I was a bit scared. It wasn’t that muddy but the trodden gravel put on the course was so slippery that you had a good chance to fall in almost every turn. Also the long old school uphills where so freaking painful. This mix was dangerous but fun.

I knew that I didn’t had the chance to get a top result so my goal was to ride as fast a possible, to promote my charity program, but must of all to have fun ! I tried to ride with the smile on my face and enjoy every single minute spent in the front of the 20.000 spectators.

I also had the chance to be the first Romanian to test the new Cannondale F-Si which is a great bike a lot improved from the actual F29er. The most important was meeting again my friends from Cannondale Factory Racing, a few friends from Cannondale Europe, but also getting to know new people inside Cannondale that contributed so much lately in the development of their teams and products.

2015 06 01 Albstadt World Cup

Let’s get back to the race. Cloudy, but dry course ! Good grip and feeling good. After a fast start and a few meters we had a big crash on the left side. I’ve avoided any problems but everyone passed me and was hard to get back to the field again. After that, once again on the narrow path big jam. I’ve lost there more than a minute. While the first guys where riding as fast as they could, we where waiting. I knew that this was possible so I wasn’t very worried. I tried my best afterwards. I’ve pushed hard on uphills and tried to stay on the bike on downhills but also I tried to have fun.

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The spectators where amazing too. Cheering all the time helps a lot and makes you forget about the pain. At the end I was on 130 spot, same like a week before in Nove Mesto.

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Afterwards I’ve participated to the Lefty Mechanics Contest at the Cannondale Factory Racing booth. I wasn’t even close to the fastest guys out there but when I do remove my damper usually I try to be precise not fast. Anyway was super fun.

As a long trip was waiting ahead we’ve stopped for the night in Fuschl, Austria, at Alex K. a good old friend of mine and still a great rider and had a good sleep. It helped a lot.

In the end I can say that World Cup racing is something special for me: a lot of spectators, meeting old friends and new people involved in cycling, riding with absolute legends of mountainbiking but the most important is having fun, enjoying every minute spent out there in training and racing. I really appreciate to be part of this and these memories are priceless.

Also promoting my charity plans have a bigger impact there also because I have all the support needed from Cannondale to do this and I hope that now I will raise even more money for this good cause.

For this amazing trip I would like to thank my girlfriend and dad for the moral support, having you next to me is the most important thing. Then the sponsors, without them it would have been impossible to take part in these events. Last but not least, I would like say a big thank you to the Cannondale Factory Racing staff for the support before the races, to the rest of Cannondale  friends for the great moments, to Voicu who came with me in this two week journey and helped me out with everything he could, to everyone back home that watched Redbull.tv and supported me, to every spectator that cheered for me and for everyone else that was involved for everything to go well !

More photos will be available soon. Stay tuned and see you at the next races!

You can watch the replay of the race right here.

Cheers,

Vlad

Photo credits: SPORTOGRAF.COM

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