They save that you have to save the best for last, and we can now say that we did that on our weekend in Mont-Sainte-Anne. Tanja Žakelj had a good day and showed lots of great performance on the cross-country race, and took 12th on what was her third big race of the week. The doors of the top-10 club still remain locked, but the season is not finished yet.
Tanja always liked to race on the technical and challenging track in Mont-Sainte-Anne, she also got some of her best results here. Today the race was even harder due to the high temperatures and the fact that she already raced European Champs in Glasgow on Tuesday and short track on Friday. She was 14th on Friday, so she had a really good start position from the second row today (full XCC report here).
“I had a solid race here in Canada, I really like this course. I was tired after arrival from Glasgow and at first I didn’t had the right feelings. However it was already better after the short track,” said Tanja after today’s race. “I managed to distribute my strength throughout the whole race today. I had a better rhythm at some parts, and I made mistakes in other places. However I think about the race I have to be happy with it as a whole. But I also have to look at some areas and try to do a step forward before the end of the season.” But first Tanja needs a good rest now – that was her third race in just six days.
Tanja didn’t show any fatigue on the start of the race, she pressed the pedals of her Devinci Wooky instantly at the start sound and fight for her position at the very front. “I had a great start of the race, nothing was in my way and I kept the contact with the best. It was important to get the good starting position after the short track, at the same time those races also help me in the first meters of the race,” explained Tanja. She was 9th after the start loop, then she fell behind in the first half of the race, just to advance again towards the end. Heat was unbearable on the open sections, so Tanja just try to pass them as fast as possible. On technical sections she didn’t had any problems. 11th place was in reach – that would match her best season result so far in the season – but had to admit that Lea Davison just had more in her legs on the end.
“For sure I had a lot of great moments, especially in the first part of the race. Lea Davison was on a great pace when she passed me, so I just got on her wheel and together we advanced quite a bit. Maybe I paid a little bit for the fast start, but it’s really hard to say what was the real reason for the bad parts of the race. For sure we all make mistakes on such a hard course, nobody is immune to that,” also added Tanja.
Tanja has another very solid result on the pre-last race of the world cup, but she is still without the top-10 result. She has one more chance for it in La Bresse and also later on the world champs in Lenzerheide.
Photos by Keith Valentine & Grega Stopar