World Cup photographer and writer Irmo Keizer is traveling with the GHOST Factory Racing Team and getting a close look behind the scenes like almost no one else. Over the race season he will share his insights with us and provides you with stories offside ordinary racing results. Take a look and enjoy.

What a season it has been. Emotions ran high throughout the year, with both up and downs. Anne Terpstra took her first World Cup win in Andorra, becoming the first Dutch female athlete to ever do so. In Lenzerheide and Snowshoe, Anne came close to winning her second World Cup, but after an epic battle with Jenny Rissveds and in the US with Pauline Ferrand-Prevot she finished in 2nd. Lisa Pasteiner rode to her best ever result in Lenzerheide with a 4th place. Sina Frei took the under 23 world title in Mont-Sainte-Anne and was three times on the Elite World cup podium. Barbara Benko defended her Hungarian title with success. Marika Tovo meanwhile is getting back on the bike and improving every single day. GHOST Factory Racing had a hugely successful year, with a clean sweep of seven wins as being the best women’s team in the World Cup.

It is a testimony for what the team has achieved. Every single one of the girls has put in a tremendous effort. There is a lot more to it than just results though. Mountain biking is an individual sport in the end, but the mental factor is at play. Anne’s performance this year and the huge strive she has made showcases the impact mindset can have. As a team, everyone benefits from seeing this. Every single person will have their up and downs, but this combined mental power is what is the true value of being in a team. It gets you through those tough times, when alone on the road. It motivates to get yourself up and going again. It makes you laugh when all you want to do is cry.

The season is now coming to an end. There still are some races to go for most of the girls. Mostly though, the time has come to relax, go back to friends and family and enjoy life. How enjoyable life on the road sometimes is, and however sweet the taste of victory can be, the offseason is of incredible value.

So, thank you 2019. It has been an incredible journey. Painful at times, disappointing sometimes but first and foremost it has shown us what really matters. Competition can be tough and demanding, but mental power can overcome harsh times and lead to unimaginable success. Never let your head down, enjoy the ride.


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