Tanja has a tradition of showing her best performance on the biggest races of the season and she did exactly that on the Olympic XCO race in Japan. It was a challenging race – in fact we could say that the whole “games” experience was challenging, but Tanja showed her best performance to date in 2021 season and took 21st place.
This is what Tanja had to said after the race: “My third Olympic games are behind me. The race was very interesting as we all had to face new conditions on the venue. It was a dry, dusty and hot week leading towards the race, but the rain on the race day changed everything. They even did some last-minute track modifications and closed the first rocks section, that was very wild. First lap of the race was unpredictable, and I didn’t dare to go with full speed on the downhill sections. I was going for the more controlled approach, also due to the fact that I was on a hardtail bike. I was really trying to avoid making mistakes, but they were still happening. Breaking point of the race for me was likely the mistake and a crash, this is when I lost a contact with the group that I successfully caught before that. I’s a little bit impatient after that, almost restless for another five minutes and that was doing any good to me. When I finally came back to my rhythm things were good again and I had one more lap to give everything I have. The final result is what it is. 21st is my worst result from the Olympic games, the fact is that our sport is still developing and it’s getting harder and harsher with every season. On the end of the day I’m glad with the outcome, I had a very good race, the best of the season so far.”
Photos by our Japanese friends. Arigatō!