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Cross Finals Bauschheim 2022

On the last weekend in August, I went to the Cross Finals in Bauschheim. I started for Team MSR, as I qualified for the finals in this series with second place overall and was therefore able to fulfil one of my dreams of taking part in the Cross Finals.

Saturday’s schedule included two free practice sessions as well as the qualifying session in which the starting positions for Sunday’s race were decided.

I didn’t get on so well in the first free practice session. Due to the heavy watering, there were only one or two free lanes, so overtaking was hardly possible, and the heavy traffic added to that. 37 riders on the relatively narrow track was quite a lot. There was also a serious crash on the last lap. During a long table, I had to swerve out of the way of a slower rider who was crossing my lane and ended up travelling at right angles to the direction of travel. My race bike was badly damaged as a result.We were able to get the bike ready again for the second free practice session, but bad luck was also to follow us in this race. I was initially able to set the fastest time, but after the fourth lap the bike stopped and couldn’t be restarted.

Unfortunately, after a lot of wrenching, we couldn’t find the fault and unpacked the replacement bike.

The qualifying session turned into a thriller. I was able to set a fast lap at the start and initially set the fastest time. But the track continued to dry out and got faster and faster. However, there was no free lap due to the heavy traffic. In the meantime, Mika Loberenz was able to take the lead, so I had to somehow make up 1.6 seconds.

On the last two laps, I finally had a clear run and after the penultimate lap, the two were separated by just 0.004 seconds, but Loberenz was still in first place. I was really fast on the last lap, but the red-cross flag was waved in the last sector and the lap was over. So it was a very close second place behind Mika Loberenz from Team Sachsen-Anhalt.

On race Sunday, I went into the warm-up in the morning. As usual, I got on well with the training bike and rode a fast lap in between and was able to set the second-best time.

After the warm-up, the first race started around midday.

The drama happened at the start, Loberenz jerked too early and drove into the starting gate, with me right behind. The two fastest drivers got stuck, but Loberenz was able to free himself immediately and I was the last to go. Now I had to start the race from 37th place.

I set off a real firework display and ploughed through the field. Towards the middle of the race, I was already in tenth place and wasn’t stopping anyone, as I was by far the fastest rider on the track. I then sensationally took the lead on the penultimate lap and pulled out a lead of over six seconds on the last lap.

An absolutely strong and well-deserved race win. Thanks to my team and my family for pushing me forward and always believing in me! You were amazing!

I didn’t make it quite as exciting in the second run. I came out of the first lap in third place, took the lead at the start of lap three and extended my lead to around 22 seconds. I also won the second race confidently and without any mistakes.

With the overall victory at the Cross Finals, one of his dreams has now come true! The day was then perfected with victory in the team classification.