Tanja Žakelj came well prepared to Cairns, with a lot of winter work focused on the better performance in the first minutes of the race. Worth mentioning is also that she raced World Cup with full suspension bike for the first time – Trek Top Fuel convinced her right away and she decided for it after just a couple of laps on the track.
Today's race was anything but easy. Tanja’s start was perfect, and she kept the lead all the way to the end of start lap. She than lost couple of places, but came in the forest and the singletrail in the position just behind top-10. This was planned to avoid the possible pileup in there. Problems started in third lap. She got a front flat on the fast downhill section, but technical zone was not far away and Rok & Urban changed her wheel fast. She found her pace fast and continued the race. Next her chain fell off on the rocks and she had to stop again; this time she couldn't get back to her own pace and she knew that she is far behind. Another flat followed in the last lap, before finish she also had a small crash. 29th place and a big gap is not a good result, but Tanja and we learned a lot today. At the same time Tanja was far from being only one with so many problems – we didn’t saw so many flats in a while.
Tanja Žakelj after the race: “Race was diverse and with lot of problems. Of course I’m disappointed with the result, it is hard to except the development of the race. I was very motivated and I also took a lead in the start lap. I stayed out of troubles and entered first forest section like agreed. Race really began there. I felt solid, not yet at my best, but ready to fight for the good result. I didn’t lost much after first flat, and I got my rhythm back soon after that. But after I had to stop to deal with chain I didn’t ride at my best anymore.
I came to Australia for better result, we all know that. Now I have to take the best from it. Most important is that I know what I’m doing and I figured out a right way to warm-up before the race. Start was really good, I can say I know exactly how I work in those moments. Bike was also amazing, I decided for Trek’s Top Fuel, which was right choice for this race and I know I’ll use it again on some of the next races. Team also did a good job and I can only say thanks to all.”
Annika Langvad and Nino Schurter were fastest today in Cairns. UCI MTB World Cup continues in Albstadt and La Bresse.
Results on the UCI website
Offical website of the event
UTT on Facebook
Photos by Grega Stopar
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