12th, 17th and 11th were Tanja’s results in the 2017 World Cup season, today she added another 11th to the list. Top-10 finish was again out of reach, despite that this was her best race so far. Riders were really close to each other today, Tanja was just 2:28 behind the winner, which shows how close they all are.
Track in Lenzerheide was slower today, after the night rain cooled down the area and made lines between the tape much more slippery. This is why race officials shortened the race from 7 to 6 laps – the decision is not a surprise, the surprise is that they waited with it till after the start of the race. But let’s rather focus on Tanja’s race.
“I am where I am, and these results are very nice. We had another great race today, I was good from the start and I was close to the best. Gaps were also very small. This boosts my motivation, at the same time I thought that I deserved a better result today. Of course I want to see myself in top-10. I might had some luck in Andorra, but this result is more than deserved. I again gave everything I had,” said Tanja after the race, just before the rainstorm that made men’s race a little bit harder.
It was hot and dry week in Switzerland, all tracks were bone dry till yesterday. But the evening rain changed the conditions on the track and roots and rocks became much more slippery. But not enough that Tanja would go for a grippier tires, she kept her combination of Racing Ralph in the front and Thunder Burt on the rear. Of course she went with the Trek Top-Fuel.
Tanja had her bad moments on the race, but they were not long and they didn’t had a lot of influence on the final result: “Start and finish were great, but again I backed down a little bit in the middle. These are moments that I need to focus on, and try to bridge this gap with correct training. This is the only thing missing for a really top result. I did so much on my endurance, I never back down on the end, I rather gain places. At the same time I saw that some riders attacked in the middle of the race and they suffered towards the end.”
Tanja’s worse lap was second, but then she was again faster and was gaining places. On the end she was eleventh, with a surprisingly small gap to the podium. Such a harsh competition is of course great for everybody, it helps to push the development of the sport. Congratulations also to Annie Last for a victory!
Only Mont-Sainte-Anne and Val di Sole had remained in the UCI MTB World Cup calendar, but before we go to Canada we’ll go on the national championships. Tanja lacks the competition, but has a different kind of motivation for this race: “I was almost missing fans on the side of the course. But it is true that everybody supported everyone of us, not just the Swiss riders. I’m also glad that team Calcit decided to stay and cheers for me. Surely there will be more fans on the upcoming national championships, this will give me more motivation for the race, I know that I don’t have a strong competition back home.”
Race replay on Red Bull TV
Results on UCI website
Photos by Klemen Humar, Keith Valentine and Grega Stopar