Report from Michael Bonnekessel from the Rohloff-Championship - Erz Mountains
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Last weekend, as part of the three day stage race "Mad East Challenge" in Altenberg (Erz mountains), the Rohloff Championship kicked off. Approximately 350 mountain bike riders were at the start on Sunday for a technical and conditionally demanding 82 km race covering a total of 2,400 height altitude.
Michael Bonnekessel of the Poison-German-A-Team counted started odds-on favourite for the title. Bonnekessel, along with 6 other riders formed a group over the first 40 km, which seemed to be perfectly harmonized. As this group slowly reduced in size and finally cleared away, Bonnekessel rode alone into the Czech Republic where a route sign was unfortunately missing, causing him to cycle off route. He found his way back very quickly, and so only lost a total of 5 min.
In a catch-up race, Bonnkessel managed to regain his position and at the final ascent he suffered from severe cramps which he was fortunately for by stepping up his cadence. After 4:09 am, Bonnekessel finally reached the finishing line completely exhausted but successful. He had won the first official Rohloff Championship of 2010 by an incredible margin. "I didn't expect to win this race at all, because I didn't know hardly any of of the other starters. I am therefore exstatic with the result."
"The hot weather conditions were an additional handicap, even if I drank a lot,“ said "Bonne" after the award ceremony. Next weekend, the third round of the mountain bike national league takes place and Bonnkessel is looking forward to cooler temperatures.