Again, our ride was not under the lucky stars. Incredible, but a sharp rock in the last downhill to Grächen cut a hole in my rear Maxxis Ikon 2.25″ Exo tire! And again we were really completely disappointed and couldn’t believe it – until this damage happened, we pushed again really hard in every single section and were already slightly ahead of Team Crossroad; so we were able to that point to make up some good time in the climbs and finally for one day come to a stage win. But no, it shouldn’t happen and we finally placed second with 2 minutes behind Team Crossroad.
A proof for you to see that we are not on a sightseeing tour in the Swiss mountains is the fact that Phil Meier of Team Crossroad (ex professional DH racer) had a real bad crash hitting a tree on this final downhill, with his bike flipping over and into the trees as well. Luckily, Phil seems to be OK but the seatstay of his Scott Genius frame was broken.
Overall today brought us fantastic trails and long long descends. After leaving Leukerbad in the morning, we already attack in the first climb and rode away from the competition. Then we made our way down to the Rhône valley but were finally caught back by the 2 following teams in the ranking, then rode together to our shuttle at the entry of the Zermatt valley. It got chilly in this veeery slow chairlift where everyone needed to hold his bike. Some more tough climbing followed with steep walking sections until we were on top at Moosalm. As Flow riders, we were able to take 1 hour time out and have a good lunch. What followed then was the highlight of the day: an extremely long and fast and flowy downhill, later on with switchbacks on loose rocky ground…about 1000 vertical meters down…
You can get a real good impression of our ride today in the video, fast and epic and flow.
After race, I upgraded my rear tire to a Maxxis 2.4″ Ardent with more volume and thicker sidewalls, 940 grams of rubber should last well for the final 2 days of racing.
Tomorrow we are going to race a loop Grächen back to Grächen and keep the race going!