“It is always amazing to win a race and this one was a bit more special as I had been sick since returning from the Commonwealth Games,” Strauss told In the Bunch. “I was literally in bed for a week.
“I did not really know [prior to the race] how it would pan out, but I am very excited with what I was able to achieve and I am ready for the rest of the season.”
Strauss said she approached the race by just aiming to pace herself.
“I kind of just wanted to ride myself into the race,” she said. “Candice [Lill] was with me and we created a gap on the first lap.
“I rode with her for a while and at the start of the third lap I put in an attack, opened a bit of a gap and upped my pace. I managed to hold on until the finish,” Strauss said as she beat Lill by 33 seconds.
She said the course was a bit different to the usual. “A lot of the sections were the wrong way around, which played a bit with my mind.
“But it made things interesting and it kept us on our toes. There was also quite a lot of climbing, which was nice. The climbs were short and punchy.
“I enjoyed that, because it provided good training for Europe. It suited me and I guess that showed in the result.”
Strauss said one hurdle she had to overcome during the race was when her handlebar came loose on the final lap.
“It came loose and twisted around a bit, so I had to ease off on the last lap to make sure I finished in one piece.”
Back in full swing, Strauss will now fine-tune her form with a full week of training before she sets off to compete in the Albstadt UCI Mountain Bike World Cup from May 18 to 20.