What a fantastic weekend I had in Haslemoen Norway! I am so happy, could not believe this success!
We had two days of really good enduro racing. The organisers put on a nice variety of some mud, rocks and ruts. But mostly quite fast fun trails – which I like.
On saturday we raced a 2-hour “hare-and-hound” enduro called Solørslitern. It was very wet and muddy thanks to the heavy rains days before. Me and Camilla planned to keep a good pace, but not pushing too hard to save some energy for the “big race” on sunday. We are always chasing each other when racing, and so we did. I took the start and for almost 3 laps Camilla was keeping tagged on my tail, and if I made a mistake she passed until I could race ahead again – very fun! I was leading by a few minutes when Camilla lost her chain and silver position – what a bummer.
When I raced out on my last lap I was leading quite comfortably and was the only girl to finish 4 laps.
I felt very tired on the last lap, but the feeling of a win made it all better!
A good wash and service and the bike was ready to go again. But I was a little worried I had worn myself too much to recover until the sunday championship race… The competition was to be tougher.
My ambition was to try and keep up with the top women, even if I know they are better riders than I am in enduro.
Sunday morning I felt fresh and really looked forward to racing. Some racing nerves on the starting grid, but I felt confident. I knew Swedish Jessica Malcolmsson was a good rider, she rides the enduro championship and won Swedens biggest hare-and-hound enduro Gotland Grand National 2008. If I can stick on her tail for a lap I would be very happy. The Norwegian riders I had never raced until now, but I heard Irene Askeland was really good.
The organisers had for the Championship race added some new really technical sections to the trail. I walked them to try and find good lines… and I feared the rocky climb, not my turf really, I always manage to fall and smash my bike.
Normally I shoot off in the start but now I took it easy, tactically letting Norwegian Irene lead to see her lines. We reached the rocky climb after only a few minutes, and she took the best line ofcourse – but got stuck and fell. I culdn’t wait so I tried another climb and also tipped over. Both of us got going and I chased her for a little while until I found a good line to pass.
Later I hit some deep mud ruts and one of the male riders was stuck in the “good” rut I was going to take – and I quickly had to change line but got stuck – SH*T!! As I sweared Jessica cought up, and she also got stuck! By the time Irene arrived the “good” rut was clear and she easily passed us, and so did Camilla. Now I was fuming and heaved the bike on its side and dragged it out. Pumped up with adrenaline I raced to catch Camilla as quickly as I could. When I caught her I decided to let her lead and pace myself a little, this was still only the first lap and a few more to go…
I found a good rythm and soon we passed Irene paddling through some deep waterfilled mudruts. Now Camilla was leading and me just on her rear wheel. So I anticipated “the kill” and in the next rock and mud section she slipped and I found a very different line – the most waterfilled rut that no one used. Well it was a winner and I used it for the rest of the race – it was just water and no obstacles, and I knew no one else would use it because it looked too deep.
I was in the lead and going out on lap 3 I had 44 minutes until the flag. I calculated that if I didn’t push it maybe this would be the last lap. I tried to look back for Camilla but didn’t see her, so I slowed down my pace just a little. I was just a couple of kilometers from the finish when Jessica appeared – and she was going good, steady through the last section of ruts and passed me! Then she pulled off… Wow – I was so impressed by her riding! I could not keep up in the rock and log section and accepted she was going to win.
Coming into the last motocross section before finish Jessica pulled in for refuel and I realized we had still time to head out on lap four! The race was on!!
I took off on lap 4 less than a minute ahead of Jessica, but could not make a single mistake and was totally focused. I was riding the best I could, clearing all the technical sections without trouble, racing as fast I could on the speed sections. I have never ridden better enduro in my life! I didn’t know how far behind Jessica was wich was stressful…
Arriving to the last mud and rut section only 2 kilometers from the finsih Jessica was on my heels. And she showed no mercy passing. I was defeated.
But I was the happiest silver medalist – because on the last lap I had cut my laptime with some 4 minutes! I never thought I could have raced this good without having Jessica breathing up my neck – she is a better rider and a worthy winner!
It was a triple for Sweden in the womens Nordic Championship, Jessica winning, me second and Camilla third – CONGRATULATIONS to all of us!!
And also congratulations to P-A Ullevålseter for winning both on saturday and sunday!!
THANKS to Henrik for super support! And thanks to all my sponsors: KTM, DekkPartner/Michelin, Elmborgs Tandvård, Lindroths Maskin, Lelles MC, Karnag, IIV, Oljecenter Vedum, Loctite. And all supporters!!
Solørslitern – Saturday 7 Aug 2010
1. #610 Annie Seel/SWE – KTM – 4 laps – 2:28:48.984
2. #907 Anita Sletten/NOR – KTM – 3 laps – 2:01:55.315
3. #904 Kine Asper/NOR – Honda – 3 laps – 2:03:38.577
Nordic Championship – Sunday 8 Aug 2010
1. #605 Jessica Malcolmsson/SWE – Husqvarna – 4 laps – 2:25:42.919
2. #610 Annie Seel/SWE – KTM – 4 laps – 2:26:26.252
3. #611 Camilla Arnalid/SWE – KTM – 3 laps – 2:00:11.472
All results on MyLaps and www.solormcklubb.no