We made it! One fabulous week of singletrack riding and racing is done! We arrived in the shadow of world-famous Matterhorn in Zermatt village. 6 days of back-to-back racing and sweetest Swiss singletracks are behind us. What stays in our memory is the great and deep impression of having raced on world-class trails in these fascinating Swiss Valais mountains.
Today, we had in our strategy planning a quite easy ride to the finish line in Zermatt. But actually it went different again. Start was as usual at 8:30 in the morning and as yesterday, short after the start shot we were leading the pack up the hill, or mountain. The last part of the first climb was damn hard again climbing a slope of 18% on loose gravel in gear 32T front – 42T rear on a 29″ bike, with your whole body and legs not really woken up yet..
But this lead was only quite short and we came together as a small Epic Flow peloton with the 3 leading teams right after the first descend. Team Crossroad with Florian Golay (BMC Enduro world team) and Phil Meier (RedBull Scott athlete) attacked again in the long breakfast downhill and were able to get a small lead to the first checkout gate. The descend was again finest singletrack, very narrow on several parts and absolute fun to ride.
What followed was a very long shuttle, first in the van with trailer – afterwards in the Sunegga metro train from Zermatt to about 2200m altitude. And there it was, the famous Matterhorn in great view and not covered by clouds! We rode up to the highest point of the race at 2385m altitude, then down in direction of Zermatt. In our minds we were getting closer to the finish line descending the steep trail. The red signs then pointed us left and we needed to climb again. Unexpected and steep climbs were on our way and we needed to mobilize the little leftover power to make it. And it was absolute worth climbing and suffering, I can guarantee! Very technical and rocky descend down to Zermatt, over fat green meadows with even fatter cows, down some very steep slopes and finally through the narrow roads of Zermatt and to the finish line.
Absolute fantastic ride and the longest distance of natural singletrack I have ever ridden! What a ride and race!
The reward ceremony is just over now and it feels awesome to be on the podium! Time to relax now and drink some Prosecco!