We’re heading towards November, which marks the start of the preparation of the 2024 season. But before focusing on new goals, I want to look back on 2023.
Let’s start with some stats. I have done 44 race days, which includes 5 stage races, 18 one day races, one MTB race, three individual time trials and two team time trials. This results to 4.855km of racing and a total of 22.083km of riding (November 2022-October 2023). I started racing on the 9th February with the UAE Women Tour and finished with my last race on 3rd October with Binche Chimay Binche pour Dames.
I tend to be self-critical and more likely see things I am not satisfied with. When I started to think about my conclusions of 2023, the first thing coming to my mind was my classic season. I wasn’t happy with my shape in spring. Don’t get me wrong, my classic campaign wasn’t bad, but nevertheless, I would have liked to see a higher physical level. On the bright side, I wasn’t burned out afterwards due to a more selective classic calendar and could keep on working well.
I saw my shape building through the year and I went into off season with the best shape of all year. Which seems to be a bit of a waste, but it also leaves me motivated and optimistic for the upcoming months of training. I invested in training my TT bike more frequently over the year. I am really happy this paid out with the chance to race the Mixed Team Time Trial at the World championships and European Championships for the German National Team. It was an amazing experience since it was my first TTT ever. We won in both races the bronze medal, which are two of my personal highlights. It might not have be a real TTT since you race only with three riders, but I definitely fell in love with this discipline.
A blind squirrel finds one corn too sometimes, so I ended up having the chance to race the final in Antwerp Port Epic for myself. Our two leaders unfortunately got eliminated with flat tires from the front group, so I had to switch my mind the usual focus on positioning my teammates or doing a leadout to go for my own result. Finishing it with a second place made me happy and some success now and then helps with believing in yourself even when it’s just a smaller race.
I also can look back on lots of awesome races, where my teammates finished off the team work with a win or good results. There are for example Pfeiffer’s first world tour race win in De Panne, Julliette 2nd place in the GC of the Giro Donne or the many lead-outs Charlotte finished off with a victory.
Of course, I made also some learning experiences. One of them was racing sick at Ride London. It was certainly not the smartest decision, but the last thing you want is letting your teammates down. I turned on the surviving mode for three days and tried to support the team as best as possible. Not going to lie, I was glad Charlotte finished it off with 2 stage wins and the GC win, so it felt like it worth it to go through hell. It also showed me that the body is capable of much more than you think. I never thought so much about quitting a race as in those three days, but somehow we made it to the finish. In the end racing is my job, so sometimes you have to move the limits, but it needs to be always in balance with caring about your own health too. So I collected my first ever DNS in Simac Ladies Tour this year. I became sick on the night before the last stage and decided to not start to focus on getting healthy again for the upcoming race, which were the European Championships.
Kicking off the season with a victory for Charlotte in UAE and then also closing it in the same way with Pfeiffer winning in Binche rounds up the year very well. I went into off season with a positive mind and excitement for the next season.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed my small summary of my 2023 season.
See you soon!