Rab Wardell rides in Germany

Events: Münsingen (UCI 1) and Heubach Bundelsiga (UCI HC)

Published: 24th April 2013

Article By: Rab Wardell

I recently competed in two Bundesliga events near Stuttgart in the south of Germany. After discussion 6with National Mountain Bike Coach Paul Newnham it was decided that some european racing would be beneficial to my build up in 2013 with an aim to meeting the qualification criteria for Glasgow 2014. I travelled to the competition with Andrew MacLugash from Alpine Bikes to support me as a team manager and mechanic. It was my first time racing my new Trek Superfly bike as part of the Trek Factory Racing team, representing the team through Trek UK.

The first race in Münsingen was a UCI 1 race with UCI points from 1st to 15th place. The course featured some short and punchy climbs, from 30 seocnds to a minute and a half, and some fast singletrack decants. A lap was around 12 minutes and the Elite men raced for 7 laps. The competition was strong with 2010 World Champion Jose Hermida and World number 4 Fabian Giger in attendance, among others to make ups round 90 starters from as far afield as Brazil. I had a solid race, passing was difficult but I made progress to finish the race in 30th around 6 minutes behind the winner having started around 50th on the grid.

Following a week of recovery and training in Dettingen Unter Teck as well as a day training in Stuttgart with Manuel Fumic and Anton Cooper I was competing in Heubach for the Bike the Rock festival. Bike the Rock is regarded as a mini World Cup and is UCI HC classified, one level below a World Cup. Reigning World Champion Nino Schurter, two time Olympic Champion Julian Absalon and Olympic Bronze medalist Marco Fontana were competing. In fact 7 of the top 10 world ranked riders were there. The course was very challenging with a long climb and a long downhill over around 5kms for 6 laps.

From a grid of around 50th again I made progress onto the first climb and passed a few riders and crossed gaps to move up. By the mid way point in the race the field was well mixed up and I was riding well with Maxime Marotte and Marco Fontana near by. I kept pushing hard as the course conditions slowed due to mud. On the final lap I lost a couple of positions to finish in 30th once more. The race was won by Nino Schurter.

I was really pleased with both of my races although a little disappointed not to score UCI points. I hope to take this good form into the British Cycling Cross Country series round 2 in Conrwall this weekend. I also hope to build on this good condition and take this into round three of the Scottish Cross Country Series at Cathkin Braes and into the first two World Cup races in May where I am aiming for the top 60.

I’d like to thanks Scottish Cycling for their support along with Trek UK, Alpine Bikes, Glasgow Life and HDS.

Rab Wardell

Pics from and Armin M. Küstenbrück