07 August 2016    XC   Tanja   MSA  

Tanja Žakelj got the confirmation that she is race ready ahead of the most important race of the season – Olympic race in Rio. She was seventh in Mont-Sainte-Anne, which proves that she is strong both physically and technically. “This was very important race for me, the biggest race of the season is in front of me. Maybe this is even the most important race of the last four years,” said Tanja right after the race.

Tanja had a good race from start to the finish. Start was very good, she went from second row to the first in first meters. After that she backed down a little bit and went on with her own pace. Right away she overtook couple of riders, then she progressed from 13th to final 7th. “I gave my best in the hour and a half I have for racing, and did what I could. It might have looked like that I’m still strong towards the end, but I was really on the limit and I couldn’t go higher. I’m not disappointed, I’m really happy with seventh,” said Tanja.

Start of the season was not the best, her best World Cup race so far was in Cairns, but flats distanced her from good result there. She started to get right feelings in the middle of the season and now she has that proper fighting glare in the eyes. Tanja is of course also happy that she could reach right form in this time: “I came from close to 40th to seventh in the World Cup, which is of course very good. Last three weeks were very intensive and I used that time for good preparations. I would like to thank all team members and my coach for such great cooperation. We did a big step forward and now I really hope that we’ll continue in that spirit in the next 14 days.”

Mont-Sainte-Anne track is very hard and this is why Tanja likes it so much. Technical coach Urban Ferenčak and Tanja were working hard in the last day and they found good lines. Urban and team mechanic Rok Jurca will also support Tanja on the Olympic games. Of course there will be also a team of Slovenian Olympic team and a group of fans from Tanja’s hometown. “I believe 16 supporters will come from Ledine, I can’t wait to see them there,” said Tanja for the end.

Catharine Pendrel won the race and pleased home crowds. World Cup continues and finishes in Andorra in September.

Results on the UCI website
Official website of the event
Reply of the race on Red Bull TV
UTT on Facebook

Photos by Keith Valentine & Grega Stopar