I think I have a new favourite race. I had really low expectations prior to the World Cup race in Vårgårda – I have this vague memory of someone saying how boring the course is and that it circles around an industrial estate. Add the rainy weather from the last few editions into the mix and I was ready for a grim weekend in rural Sweden. It turned out to be the complete opposite of that.
I had a job in Germany, which meant that I had to miss the team time trial on Friday and only arrived very late on Friday. We’ve pulled up to our guest house in the middle of the night, so we were pleasantly surprised in the morning, that it was a wonderful, little cottage in the middle of the woods, far away from everything. It was sunny and quiet – it was perfect. After a lazy morning, we picked up the accreditations and I decided to drive around the big loop of Sunday’s race. It was a wonderful drive, the northern sun was slowly setting, the golden hour lasted for two or three, the country lanes were empty and had a good rhythm for driving.
The sunshine and the warmth stayed with us for Sunday and I enjoyed covering the race immensely. We’ve managed to catch the race twice on the big loop and then a number of times on the small loop. It was a nice surprise that with the ‘Press’ sticker on the car, we had great freedom on the small loop and that allowed me to do quite a lot. Having Katie around also meant that I could take risks and go to spots that might not have worked out, knowing that she’d catch them a bit further down or up the road.
It might not have been the most exciting race of the season, but from my point of view, it was one of the best races of the season. I will definitely be back next year.