Anne Terpstra, after fracturing her ankle badly in January, was expecting her best-case return to racing scenario to be Albstadt at the end of May. But, following her surgery in South Africa, the healing process went significantly better than predicted. The girl from the Netherlands has been able to train again for the past few weeks, even though she did so mostly on the road: “I am still having trouble to click out and would prefer not to fall to the left side, if I can help it. That is limiting me a great deal, but cycling is definitely much better than running for me, as predicted. “ On short notice, she decided to compete at the 3-Nations-Cup in Saalhausen, the relatively easy course being one of the reasons. Heavy rain over night turned the course non-rideable in certain sections and even required a change in routing shortly before the start: “I did not exactly plan it like that, all of a sudden we had to run a lot – precisely my strength at the moment – and there were times where the wheel just wouldn’t turn at all anymore. I was trailing significantly and the third place finish is not really representative. I am training very hard at the moment to reduce my existing training deficit. I won’t completely know where I stand until Albstadt I am afraid. But being able to compete in a race feels simply awesome – and my foot held up!”
The team has been competing at the early season race in Nals for many years, and has been able to finish on the podium quite a few times. By upgrading the HC race to the highest race category below the World Cup, this year’s edition boasted high-caliber competitors in the starting line-up and was designated as “The little World Cup” in the run-up to the race. The weather also kept its promise for the so-called “Sunshine Race”.
Lisa Pasteiner was not able to finish the race due to stomach issues. But her teammates represented her well.
Barbara Benko had her own problems at the beginning of the race, but increasingly found her rhythm after she made it through the starting lap: “The starting lap was on a pretty steep paved climb, that’s not really my thing, so I didn’t make it out of there in the TOP10. But from lap to lap, things improved and I worked my way toward the front. But seventh place was as much as I had in the tank. Looking at the times, I am quite happy with it.” The athletes use the time and races between the World Cup competitions to further test the equipment and material: “At the moment, we are testing foam rings in the tire, in order to lower air pressure. That worked great for me here today and will surely be an option for the next race as well. All in all, this was a really cool weekend and I am very happy for Sina who brought it home today!”
The above-mentioned Sina Frei took charge of the race right from the start. After the starting lap, she was able to turn into the downhill as lead rider. A week ago at the Swiss Bike Cup, the U23 World Champion had a slightly harder time and was not 100% content with her performance finishing the race in fourth place. This week, her goal was to set things straight: “Things went significantly better and I managed to position myself in the lead group right away. Up until 2 laps before the finish, the top 5 riders were within 15-20 seconds of each other keeping it really exciting to the very end. In the second-to-last lap, Maja (Wloszczowska) crashed in front of me, so all of a sudden, I was all alone at the top. At some point, Linda (Indergand) closed up on me again, but I managed to ride out a little lead and keep it that way to the finish.” The Swiss athlete spent last week in a training camp in South Tyrol with the Swiss National Team and was very happy with her win. “This was an incredible competition of the highest caliber. Going home with the win under my belt is just awesome. I am also very happy for my team, this was my first victory on GHOST. Everyone is putting so much effort in and the equipment and support if just perfect, Thank you so much for everything!”
Barbara Benko will compete at the marathon European Championships next week while Sina Frei is scheduled for the Swiss Bike Cup in Schaan. Malene Degn and Anne Terpstra will participate at the HC race in Heubach this week.