With exception of Albstadt, Tanja Žakelj was close to the top-10 throughout the World Cup season, her best result was seventh. 26th place on the last race of the very good season is of course frustrating, every rider wants to go into off-season with great result. Tanja Žakelj about today's race: »I could feel that the girls are in great shape, so was I, but maybe I had too big expectations and I didn't do as well under pressure. I couldn't find the right rhythm from the start. We were very close together in the first laps, after I didn't do so good I lost a lot of motivation and had a bad race.«
Track in Val di Sole was one of Tanja's favorites in the past, but not any more. There are almost no real technical sections, but there are a lot of hard climbs. However Tanja is not the persons that look for excuses: »Track really looks easy, but it's physically extremely challenging. I'm sure that the best-fit rider won today. Technical sections are not very hard, but it's hard to be fast and without mistakes on them. My advantages are hard sections, I showed that in Canada more than on any other race, but I didn't have this advantage here. But I didn't pay much attention to this, you have to show your best on every race and today I couldn't do that,« said Tanja.
Tanja Žakelj was in 15th place in the beginning, which didn't raise any alarm; she is usually stronger towards the end of the race. Today that didn't happen. She was loosing places and was on the end far from where she would like, that is top-10. Bad result came just before the world champs in Australia, that is why this is a race to forget and go there with clear mind and positive thoughts. Tanja knows that things change very fast in this sport: »Everything is possible after all, the rider that already won a world cup race this season was just in front of me. We all have ups and downs and that is why I should worry for today. I qualified for the championships and I have to do the same as I did till now – do everything in the best possible way and go there with self-confidence.«
Jolanda Neff won the race, Yana Belomoina took the World Cup title. World Championships in Cairns will take place from 5th till 10th of September.
Replay on Red Bull TV
Pictures by Klemen Humar and Keith Valentine