Alexander Karlsson pulls off his second consecutive national elite title, as he wins the Swedish Trials Championship ahead of Tobias Hult and Victor Fredriksson. Not many Swedish trials riders bothered to participate in the race, organised in Björkvik, a 90 minutes drive south west of Stockholm, something Karlsson think is sad.
– Actually I just had a semi-good feeling during the warm-up
Karlsson is no stranger to competitions, having participated in many international UCI races over the last couple of years. But, even when warming up for (just) a national race, his nerves might play with him sometimes.
– Actually I just had a semi-good feeling during the warm-up. Even though it was past lunch time, I was quite tired and for some reason I still felt very full from breakfast. But, when it was race time, everything felt great!
High summer temperatures in Sweden are basically anything above 20°C, and Karlsson feared the heat would be a bigger obstacle than the actual obstacles.
– When looking at the sections the night before, it was still about 25°C, which is very warm in Sweden. Though the sections looked quite challenging, we realised the heat would probably be an even greater challenge during the race. But, the 28°C on Sunday never really bothered me, surprisingly.
– I kept an almost naive calmness about the time
If you look at Karlsson’s Instagram, you can see he’s very much into varied training, be it in the gym or on the track. That’s something he benefited from at the end of the race.
– As the tradition goes, I rode much better in lap two and three, achieving 190 points each lap, versus 160 in the first lap. Starting the third lap, we realised time was running short, so I really had to pick up the pace between sections. Adding a rear tire puncture after the first section on lap three didn’t make it any better. But, I kept an almost naive calmness about the time, since stressing would probably only make me ride worse in the last sections. I managed to complete everything, and leave my score card with some seconds left of the clock. I probably hit a new 400 m PR while running to the race office too!
– I really think it’s sad that other riders wouldn’t take their time to participate
When asked about the sections, Karlsson believed every obstacle was possible, despite not being able to get a full score in the race, scoring only 540 out of 750 possible points.
– Every sector was possible for me to clear, but in most sections I got about 40 points, which I personally think indicates a sound level of challenge at a race.
– Unfortunately we had a poor number of riders starting in all categories. In men’s elite, it was only Tobias Hult, Victor Fredriksson and myself. I really think it’s sad that other riders wouldn’t take their time to participate, when we were actually quite lucky that someone took it upon themselves to organise a Swedish Championship in these difficult times. For me, it’s almost a responsibility [to participate] for keeping the sport moving forward.
Results in men’s elite
- Alexander Karlsson 540 points
- Tobias Hult 420 points
- Victor Fredriksson 140 points