Mieke Kröger My 1x: Taming Nerves
At just 21, Mieke Kröger is the youngest member of the Velocio-SRAM women’s pro cycling team. Yet she’s already an accomplished rider on the international scene, especially when it comes to riding solo. In June she won the German National Time Trial Championship, with some of the toughest competition coming from within her own team, while riding Force 1. Force 1 is one of two new single chainring drivetrains from SRAM. We thank her for sharing her My 1x experience:
I had interesting thoughts running through my head before the German National Time Trial Championships, which was held June 26 in Einhausen. I was going for my first senior time trial national title. But, I just admit, the gold medal was never in my mind before the race. I thought about the bronze medal for this race because two of my German teammates (world champ Lisa Brennauer and Trixi Worrack) are such great time trialists. Still, I was very nervous, just like I am before every time trial!
Photo by ©BellXOne / Top photo ©Mani Wollner
The course was rolling and fast. It was overall relatively flat with a finish that was a bit challenging. We had to race two laps of a 15km circuit that suited my riding ability well. This course profile was a significant factor and was why I choose to race on the new SRAM 1x™ Force 1 groupset. Since the course lacked climbs, I would not have used my small front chainring anyway. So what would the front derailleur be good for? I selected a 54-tooth SRAM X-SYNC™ Chainring paired with an 11-25 cassette. This selection provided me with the small graduation of gearing (11,12,13,14,15,16,17,19,21,23,25). I knew I would not need an 11-28 cassette. This allowed me to lose the front derailleur while also maintaining as many gearing options as possible; especially in the gears I’d be riding most.
For this time trial, I really focused on keeping my pace consistent especially during the second half of the 30km event. I focused on pushing the same power as I did during the first half of the race. For internal motivation, I also thought about my time trial during the world championships last year (where I finished fourth and Lisa Brennauer won) and how I pushed myself to the limit. In the German championship, my SRAM 1x™ worked very well and was so silent and smooth. I am very proud to be racing with the 1x groupset. It looks so fast, and because it looks so fast and shifts so well and direct, I feel fast! Choosing the right equipment is an important part of time trial preparation, and race-day focus and performance.
I also train on SRAM Force 1 and would definitely race with it again on time trial courses that are relatively flat. For me, that means on courses on which I would choose up to a maximum of an 11-28 cassette. It was nice to have so many people congratulate me after my victory in the German National Time Trial Championship. The race reminded me that I am good at the time trial and that I mustn’t always worry before a big TT because I can get so nervous!
Read more My 1x stories from: Grinduro!, Open the Road Gloucester, Gloucester GP CX Race, riding and racing in Indiana, The JAM Fund Grand Fundo, 70.3 Ironman® U.S. National Champs, and the Dirty Kanza 200.
Learn more about SRAM 1x Force 1 and Rival 1 groups in the video below.