When it rains, it pours.

For the second year in a row, Team eCHATlon-Doltcini made it to the start of the Sudety Mountainbike Challenge in Poland. We drove up a couple of days in advance to get some rest before the race started and check out some parts of the course. Some pre-race chilling topped off with Polish ice-cream should leave us prepared for the week to come.

After successfully dodging torrential rains and heavy thunderstorms for the first two days before the race, on the night prior to the first stage we were kept awake by what sounded like the four horseman of the apocalypse dropping down from the sky. At this time nobody could believe the race was simply going to get underway just a couple of hours later. During breakfast everyone on the startlist was slurping his or her coffee in a rather doubtful way…

It looked like the first stage of this year’s Sudety was going to be a wet and very electric one. After two days of sunshine and unexpectedly great weather that’s just how the world works, right? Conditions actually turned out to be so bad that the start got postponed and the course shortened.

Once we started pedaling, the skies actually started to clear out. Not that we would have had time to direct any of our energy to the conditions, as the course proved to be more than demand, classic Sudety style.

Steep technical climbs, rocky and rooty descents and miles of lovely singletrack. It only takes a couple of kilometers to realize why everyone who ever entered this race loves it this much.

The first stage on any stage race is always special, it’s a weird mix of checking out your own limits, the ones of your teammate and of course the competition. No better way to start of a week of racing than with a win but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, since the woods in Poland are dark and full of terrors…

But hey, Team eCHATlon Doltcini struck first gold, so let’s end this post on that.

Peace

Terry and Reinout