After four hard weeks my wounds and injuries had healed reasonably well and I was ready to make my comeback with the German national team at the Grand Prix Rüebliland 2019. The starting field of the three-day tour was very prominent and many nations were registered with their top riders, such as the USA or France.
The first stage on Friday, August 30th, started in the canton of Aargau and was very hilly for about 100km. After the long break the first race felt pretty hard again. Nevertheless, I was able to hold my own in the main field. On the following day, I first had to master the 68km long stage in the morning and then a 9km long individual time trial in the afternoon. I was not able to finish both races in the front places, but I noticed how the fitness was slowly going uphill again. On Sunday we had to wait for the last 120km stage. At the beginning the stage led over a longer ascent, followed by many short but steeper climbs towards the end of the race. At the beginning I managed to jump into the quite large top group, but this one shouldn't last long. The Americans lived up to their role as favourites and kept everything under control from the main peloton, so that unfortunately we were not given a big lead and we were caught again towards the half of the race.
In the end I finished the tour on one place. For the first race after the injury I was satisfied with my performance, I think I shouldn't have expected much more. Now I have a lot of work to do to get back to this fitness level before the crash, but I am highly motivated and looking forward to it. That's why I'm now going straight to Italy in the Alps, where I want to prepare for the rest of the season for two weeks.