In the Portuguese municipality Anadia, Mari Hole Mohr (Norway) and Caroline Andersson (Sweden) have shown themselves during the road race of the European championships U23 this Sunday. Mari finished in tenth place, in the group that was fighting for the second place, not far behind solo winner Shirin van Anrooij of the Netherlands. Close after that small group, Caroline came over de finish line in 17th place.
The weather was hot in Anadia, with temperatures over 30 degrees. “The race was heavily affected by the heat, meaning that if you went in the red zone it would affect the body way more”, Mari (photo) tells about it, when she looks back at the race. “Racing in heat like this was new to me and I knew it would be a make it or break it situation because of it.”
In the end, Mari managed to get a good tenth place. “The strongest nations put the pace in the long hill on the lap, but it usually got together after the downhill. On the last lap the peloton got quite reduced and only a few riders came back. So my ‘finish line’ was at the top of the steep hill, a few kilometres before the actual finish line. When it came to the sprint I knew my legs would not be as good, but I was super happy to finish with the first group and just making it into the top-10.”
Caroline saw the same. “Every lap it went super hard uphill in the long climb, and it split into a select group of 10-12 riders. I put all my energy in it to be there, as I thought it would be there the race would be won. But unfortunately the cooperation was very poor and every lap the riders who were dropped on the climb, came back and it was yet again a group of 20-30 riders. It was coming down to a bunch sprint and unfortunately I got caught behind some crashes, so 17th was the best I could do today. A little unfortunate that the hill wasn’t hard enough to create bigger splits, but still it was a decent day on the bike.”