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Emma Johansson Blog: Double @ Nationals!

Every race that I choose to do is important to me. So whether it’s world championships or a smaller race in Belgium or somewhere else doesn’t matter. If I’m at the start you will always see me giving my very best.

So when last weeks national championships was on the program of course I was there to race full gas as I always do.

Some might think that just because I have been Swedish champion so many times and because most people are so used to see me in the blue and yellow jersey that it’s easy to bring it home. But that is absolutely not the case! I even think nationals is one of the toughest and most difficult race during the season. I can only loose and every one is there to beat me… Or at least that is what it feels like.

This years time trial was a big challenge. Dead flat and more or less dead straight too. A course where you need to focus on big gears and to ride fast. It came down to a second fight between Emilia Fahlin and Me. Racing even to the turning point half way, pressure was on for the way back. I went deep and raced bigger gears than I have ever done before. When I heard from the commentator that I took the win with a margin of 4 seconds to Emilia all I could feel was joy… and a bit of pain 😉

For the road race tactics is easy in many ways. I need to make the race hard, bring back all the attacks and attack myself!

Every year I analyse the circuit and make a plan. This year was no different. The circuit looked like a 12km criterium lap with lots of corners, two small “kicks” (hills) and cobbles. Doing this for 10 laps made it hard. Especially when I choose to start with my gas 80% open through all these tricky points. The nature of the circuit made it impossible to hide and to save energy in the peloton, so when I was hurting myself the others where suffering too.

Sara Mustonen was like glued to my wheel all day and for a moment I thought that going solo was never going to happen… But a perfectly timed attack just before a sharp right corner into one of the hills I came free. Still 40km to go but I knew this was the risk I had to take to be sure of winning nationals one last time!

I knew it was a good reason when I choose to start in 30 degrees with my Lazer aeroshell… My gap grew bigger and bigger! To cross the line alone with the chasing group more than 4 min behind was great. To be honest winning nationals feels more like a relif as the preassure and expectations are so high.

I did it again! One last time!

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