April 7, 2008
Race Report - Swisspower Cup #2 - Winterthur, ZH - April 5, 2008

Hola amigos! Another one down... crazy how fast things go, once the season has started. I, however, was NOT crazy fast on Saturday, despite all my efforts. Last year I placed fourth in Winterthur in a very tight race, whereas in the 2008 edition, I had to settle for ninth. I'm not exactly disappointed, since my leggies and I did everything we could, but I'm really itching to feel "that lovin' feelin'" again. I know it will all come together for the first World Cup in Houffalize, Belgium on April 20, so I musn't be impatient. I just need to ride hard and give'r, which is exactly what I've been doing.

The Team (L-R): Daniela Stünzi, Kathrin Heimberg, Sandra Walter, Nadia Walker, Fabienne Niederberger.

It was a chilly day for a bike race, but we sure are lucky we didn't race yesterday (like those other poor folks), 'cause it snowed. We rode 5.5 laps of the classic course, which started with a mega-steep road climb, that levelled out and turned into gravel road, then at the top we did a short singletrack section, before it spilled us back out onto gravel. Then a fast fire road descent punctuated by a couple of tricky corners, back into some twisty, steep, slick singletrack, onto gravel, flat power section, singletrack climb, gravel climb, flat gravel, fast grass descent.... You get the idea. I usually like this course, because despite the big climb, it still favours my power style with all the flats and false flats. This time, I just wasn't able to match the pace on the climb, and had to settle into my own groove, while my legs slowly warmed up. As with the race in Buchs, it took most of the race for my legs to finally open up. I started closing the gap in the second half, and caught and passed Nina Goehl-Wrobel to better my result in Buchs by one position. Hey, better is better, right?
I'm looking forward to Sunday's race in Muttenz - that course also majorly favours power riders. Good job to Fabienne and Kathrin for their solid races. Yay team! Thanks to Michi and Ruedi for taking care of us, Dani for his mechanical magic, and Stefan and the boyz for their support, and everyone out there for the cheers.
See y'all on the flipside,

Sandra :)

Elite Women - 1 start lap + 5 full laps

1. Maroussia Rusca (Scott Allianz Suisse)              1:37.49
2. Petra Henzi (Fischer-BMC)                              at 0.54
3. Adelheid Morath (Rothaus-Cube MTB Team)                1.08
4. Guinchard Saner (Bikepark.ch / BMC)                    1.41
5. Esther Süss (BikErich/ RC Gränichen)                   2.58
6. Katrin Leumann (goldwurst-power / Sputnik)             4.19
7. Renata Bucher (Stöckli - Craft)                        4.57
8. Sarah Koba (Koba)                                      5.19
9. Sandra Walter (X.0-Felt Womens MTB Team)               6.01
10. Nina Göhl-Wrobel (Multivan Merida Biking Team)        7.23
18. Fabienne Niederberger (X.0-Felt Womens MTB Team)      9.49
24. Kathrin Heimberg (X.0-Felt Womens MTB Team)          16.00