Assigning the Bikes

Assigning the Bikes

Lots of eyes will be scrutinizing the bike check-in on Saturday. Even the helmets are looked at critically by the referees upon entering the transition zone. A crack in the shell or a damaged chin strap are criterion for exclusion. Then a new helmet needs to be found and fast. Safety first!

Photo: TEAMCHALLENGE, Vicky Elsasser

It continues at the bike park: one last critical look at the chain, a last pat on the tires to check if the pressure is just right and the helmet once again gets adjusted to exactly the right place on the handlebars. Then it’s off to the truck to drop off the transition bag. Or, perhaps maybe one should check the bike again. Better safe than sorry… Especially the rookies amongst the age-groupers nervously check everything three times over before dropping off their bikes on Saturday.

Photo: TEAMCHALLENGE, Vicky Elsasser

Franconian Double Win is predicted

The professionals of course are a whole other story. Checking in their bikes takes only a few minutes. Every movement sits. Everything is routine. Or maybe not? Each race is different, each transition zone too. Which is why a newby to Roth, Andreas Böcherer  took the time and let the referees show him all the paths in and through the transition zone. As a last preparation of course.

The two Franconian local matadors Andreas Dreitz and Anja Ippach arrived to check-in at the same time and were promptly asked to give a double interview by host Bernd-Uwe Gutknecht. Confronted with the fact that there has never been a Franconian winner at the DATEV Challenge Roth, Andreas Dreitz said, “Okay Anja, we’ll make a Franconian double win tomorrow in Roth.”

Of course their competitors certainly will have a word to say about that. The women’s field got a bit larger as Daniela Bleymehl registered at the last minute on Friday. Although she is a top athlete with a chance of winning that doesn’t scare Anja Ippach in the least: “I wrote to Dani that I am happy that she is starting. I don’t have the impression any more that I am competing against the other girls – more that we are competing together in order to bring out the highest performance in each.

Daniela Bleymehl took a few days to decide whether or not she would really start in Roth: „I actually only wanted to be a spectator, watch the race and cheers the others on. But after having had to stop in Frankfurt it would have been very painful to just watch and not take part.” The problems that forced her to drop out in Frankfurt have been overcome- there is nothing standing in her way to defend the title at the DATEV Challenge Roth.

Photo: TEAMCHALLENGE, Christoph Raithel

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