First UCI MTB World Cup of the season took placed on the closed venue in Albstadt, on the familiar track that has only been modified slightly. It’s not Tanja’s favorite place to race, but that doesn’t excuse the modest result – she was only 39th on the Sunday XCO race.
For Tanja, this was first big race of the Olympic season. She did a race in Italy and was recently training on the 4 Islands stage race, but here is where the competition is and this is where we all want to prove our worth. Tanja didn’t excel today, but it’s not all bad news as she took a lot of positives from the race.
“First World Cup race of the season, and my first big race of the season. I didn’t do much racing until now, but I did follow the results from the rest of the races around the world and I came here with realistic expectations, or perhaps even without expectations. I was on a pretty much optimal pace for today and I have to say that the race was pretty OK. I didn’t go above the limit on the start, despite losing precious places at the time. If I would go over, I would suffer even more in the second half and it would be a fight for survival. I would say that I had a constant race, but I know this is not a good result. It’s a starting point upon which I have to build,” said Tanja after the race.
First real heat of the season also played a role in today’s race, but it made a bigger impact on many of the other riders. No matter the weather, Tanja will have to gain speed in the first part of the race and get to the performance level that she had in the last season. She’s not looking for an easy way out: “I need to do better in all areas, but mostly in the start of the race. I have to go over the limit and do that in a way that it doesn’t hurt me later in the race. Faster from the start, and then in the fastest possible rhythm all the way to the end – this is not my virtue, but I’ll continue working on in and hopefully the results will come very soon.”
Tanja is an experienced rider and will take the most from this result, but there will be just a little bit of time for analysis. Next race in Nove Mesto na Morave is just days away and the focus will have to go there.
Congratulations to Loana Lecomte for amazing victory!
Photo credits: Grega Stopar