Tanja Žakelj had a lot of good races in this season, she won couple of UCI Class events and got enough points to start in the second row. But from there one she was again on her own – competition is crazy, margin for error is close to zero. Crash in the start of the race could have worse consequences, but she was OK, so was the bike, and she stormed ahead. The chase was on – she caught up with rider after rider and took 12th place!
“I said to my self that I’ll be happy if I start where I finished last year. The feeling on the race was right, I wasn’t far behind top ten… But most of all I’m happy that I had a good race. I have a confirmation that I was doing the right thing in the winter and now I’m in the great position for next races of the season,” said Tanja after the race in cold Nove Mesto na Morave.
Tanja had a good start, and if we don’t count that crash she had a very good race. “Berms were very loose after U23 race, over 150 riders on the course has to leave some marks. I simply lost the front tire in that berm on the end of BMX section. But that didn’t throw me off-track, I stayed focused and I got my lesson, I knew what to expect from there on. Some riders had to go on B line because of my crash, so they lost couple of seconds and I really didn’t loose that much,” was Tanja’s comment on the start of the race.
After that she was playing cat and mouse for the whole race, every time with the new rider ahead of her. This is how she came all the way to 12th place. “I had a real battle on my hands, I was fighting for position. I saw girls in front of me and that gave me extra motivation. At the same time I know this track very well and I knew that I can’t go over myself on every climb and I had control of my race in my hands for the whole time,” said Tanja for the end.
She is now also 12th overall and has a place in the second row. Annika Langvad won the race, next race is in a week in Albstadt.
All photos by Grega Stopar