P12 for Tanja on the »mega« European Champs

Tanja is going strong and did amazing on the first of the two championships that are happening one after another. She was 12th on the UEC European Championships that took place today at the Olympic park in Munich. Now she need to put her Slovenian kit to the washer and dry it before the start of the races in Les Gets.

Tanja Žakelj came to Germany on the wings of the victory on the HC race in Turkey, but this is where the real competition was, and this is where she needed to confirm her strong performance. Tanja was racing in her own way, with a good start and then her own pace till the end, which is most often too much for the riders around her. She was again gaining a lot towards the last part of the race, she just had to adjust to the conditions. Tanja Žakelj explains: “I was not surprised by the wet conditions on the track, but I was still thinking that the rain will stop till morning, and we’ll have less mud. But it was raining till about the halfway of the race. We’re smart about the tire choice and change the rear tire with the model that is more suitable for the mud and rain. I’m also sure that I made the right choice regarding the bike, Epic Hardtail was faster bike today.
The race developed as expected. I did a proper warm up. Had a good start, with the head in the right place. I’s looking for the gaps, I followed and was there where I needed to be. At the same time I knew that I’ll have to save my strength, race on the steady and my own pace. This is how I gain positions. In the last lap I gave everything I had and I’m very pleased with the 12th place.”

First impressions on the track were quite the opposite. The track at the Olympic venue is very different from the World Cup track, but the organizers couldn’t do much more than they did. The conditions made the race very interesting and Tanja enjoyed racing. Fans were great as well, despite the fact that the crowd was smaller than on Friday for the men’s race.

“I’m glad that I had a solid race, the competition was very hard. I see that I can be competitive, not with the fastest, but still fast enough that I can go to the World Championships with lots of motivations,” added Tanja. Of course we’re now all focused on Les Gets, the racing there starts in just couple of days.

Gold went to Frence thanks to Loana Lecomte.

Photos by Grega Stopar