WC Stellenbosch: Bad start, but then a furious fight till the end

First race of the World Cup season was a big unknown. New venue and new course were both playing their part, but the biggest issue for Tanja was time of the season. But she still did a good job, in fact very good as she showed right fighting spirits and was racing with amazing lap times. However it didn’t look as good after the start…

We couldn’t ask for a better start of the season and first World Cup race for Unior/Devinci Factory Racing! Venue in Stellenbosch is great, meanwhile experienced organizers made sure everything was on top level. And the most important ingredient for the success – fans! Thousands of amazing fans, that showed how big cycling is in South Africa!

Let’s go back to Tanja’s race and the story how Tanja came to 18th place! There is no other way to say it – the start of the race was poor. She lost the contact with the fastest right away and then got stuck on the narrow sections of the start loop, which pushed her back in 33rd place. After that she took control of her race and the battle has begun! She was overtaking riders ahead of her, each of them gave her motivation boost to push harder and stronger. This resulted in better lap times, last three laps were even fast enough for top-10 result!

“My race matches my training program. I didn’t had special preparations for this race, I know I’m lacking on speed. But I’m happy that I proved that I have endurance, which gives me motivation for the future and shows that I can battle against the best. There are a lot of things I need to do, but I know where I am and what I have to do, so I’m looking ahead with lots of optimism,” said Tanja after the race. Tanja is one of the many riders that came to the race without any racing whatsoever, and are really aiming for the next races of the World Cup on the European ground in May and later on.

“I’m very happy with the race and time spent in Stellenbosch. I did a lot of good trainings here, after that I got my rest and got ready for the race. Conditions were very hard, but I was ready for them. I took control of the race in my own hands and did the best I could,” said Tanja, already with higher ambitions in her mind. “I can surly compete with the fastest on the perfect race day.”

Congratulations to Annika Langvad of Denmark for epic victory.

Race replay on Red Bull TV
Results on the UCI website

Photos by Grega Stopar