With a double event in such a short time span, Nové M?sto was challenging for every athlete. On Tuesday, the first short track (XCC) race was held, followed by the cross country (XCO) on Thursday. There would be no rest for racers, as the very next day the second short track race took place, ever so important to gain that sought after first rows start position for the XCO race.
Lisa, who is recovering from an infection and Caroline, who broke her collarbone (Get well soon, Caro!), had to skip the event and stayed home to rest and recover. Caroline: "Of course, I am disappointed. My form was excellent, so I knew I would be able to perform well. For now all I can do is look ahead and start my work for next year. I hope my team mates do well and wish them luck at their race."
On Tuesday, the GHOST athletes showcased their form, with Sina and Anne finishing in 4th and 8th, claiming their place for the first two start rows for Thursday's race. Barbara completed the GHOST line up by finishing in 23rd. Sina Frei: "You could tell everyone was poised for a result today. The race was very hectic. Furthermore, the weather and as a result the condition of the course added to the difficulty. It resulted in quite a few situations with close calls and as a result I dropped back a bit at times. Just before the finish I was able to make my way back to the front and claim fourth place."
In the XCO race on Thursday both, Anne and Sina, had a great start and set off in the first lap, forming a lead group of seven riders. As the race progressed, Anne chased down the leading French duo consisting of Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Loana Lecomte, who surprised friend and foe by taking the win. With incredibly fast downhill times, Anne was able to close the gap to Ferrand Prevot. She overtook the reigning world champion and finished in second place.
Anne on her win: "I am over the moon with my result, as this year has not been easy. I was infected with Corona and could hardly walk up the stairs for weeks. I think the resulting pause combined with my more easy-going mindset from last year have helped me to start again after that. Now, with my national title from last week and this second place, I can just say I had a tremendous start for this big block of racing."
Barbara finished the race in 24th, after having lost a lot of time getting caught in the back field at the start. "When you start at the rear of the field, it is just so hard to make your way up again. I just did not have the power today. There will be more chances."
The second XCC race had more favourable conditions, although the wind would put riders to the test again. Anne rode to a 7th place, securing a good start position for the following race. Sina finished in 9th and secured a good position as well. In the second XCO race of the week, another podium would be won. Three main actors would challenge each other for the win. Loana Lecomte, Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Anne Terpstra. Ferrand Prevot raced to take the lead, which she extended to 30 seconds. Anne: "Mid-race I managed to slowly close the gap to Pauline. I managed to claw back fifteen seconds, with Loana following at a distance. But in the next lap the gap stayed the same. In today's conditions I could not make the difference in the downhills. I wasn't happy with my 2nd place after the finish, but looking back I am completely happy with today's result. I am looking forward to the World Championships for next week."
Sina finished in 8th, riding a strong race. Barbara had to abandon the race due to health problems. Our Factory Racing Team managed to win the team rankings, resulting in another podium in Nové M?sto.
Next up for coming week is the World Championships in Saalfelden, Austria, followed by the European Championships in Switzerland.