Tanja has shown much better performance today in Les Gets, taking 32nd place on the XCO race. This is her best result of the 2021 World Cup season and another great motivation generator.
Sunday in Les Gets was not very pleasant, rain and cold made racing conditions hard, but we all had to forget about that and think about the race – the last big challenge before Tanja leaves for Japan. A week ago, Tanja Žakelj won her 10th national title and got a great boost of motivation, big step in the right direction also happened on the today’s race in France.
“It really was a hard race. Track is far from easy on its own, the organizers had put a lot of rocks on it and created several new technical sections that take more energy to ride. Weather also had its impact on the race, but I don’t think all of this influenced on my result, it might have even helped. I was relaxed and I knew that the conditions are the same for everyone, so I didn’t bother myself with that,” explained Tanja Žakelj. “I did my best on the start, but I still need to do a lot more to be where I want to be – more at the front at the beginning of the race. I was racing on my own pace, I focused on my own race and made sure that I didn’t do many mistakes. I gain couple of places on the descents, and again lost some on the climbs. But I was fighting and I’m happy with the race.”
Conditions were really hard, just a few riders managed to do all six laps without a crash. It helped to have fans beside the track, but all of this is just a warmup for the World Championships that will take place here next year.
World Cup will go on a break, it’s time for the Olympic Games. Tanja has her ticket for Tokyo for a while now, this will be her third games: “This was the last race before we leave for Tokyo. I simply have to follow my training program and do it at 100 % and make sure everything else is in place – enough rest, correct diet and regeneration.”
Things are going in the right direction and Tanja is filled with more optimism, despite knowing that the winning form isn’t there yet. “It’s a great progress, but not what I want. I can do much more in all aspects of the race. I’m on the right track and I have trust in our work, so I can look towards the future with optimism.”
Photos by Anže Furlan & Grega Stopar