»Ok, back to business Tanja. Now!« This is what I said to myself today, while sitting comfortably in »my« bed and surfing for some serious and little less serious things on internet. Yes, not MY, but »my« bed again – we arrived to Albstadt yesterday evening, for next World Cup race. And waiting has just begun – short waiting for training and little longer waiting for the race on Sunday. And surfing is one way of entertainment.

Thinking about how my season went after Cyprus made me feel quite happy about the whole journey. There was a mixture of everything that racing in mountain biking can offer – from disappointment and depression to joy and happiness and luckily I remember much more of the positive side. After every race, no matter the result, I try to follow a tip from our sports director Tine: »From every race try to take 3 good things that happened and learn something out of it.«

That's exactly what I did after lots of problems in Cairns and the result didn't affect me so much. I got back the routine of the last few days before the big day, my warm up went well and I showed the confidence with super fast start. And the most important and new thing for me was that I raced with full-suspension bike for the first time. When the first ride on a new bike puts a smile on your face that is definitely a good sign. Trek Top Fuel was my choice for Cairns and then also for some following races and probably there are much more to come!

After winning in muddy conditions in Kamnik I was again fully motivated for European Championships in Sweden. I visited Sweden for the first time ever, and was amazed how beautiful nature is and how nice venue they have. On the contrary, Albstadt is a regular in the World Cup calendar, but every race brings something new and I'm excited for what this weekend (and the next and the next…) will bring me.

Coming back home from Cyprus, I decided to write down some words about my last two weeks spent there. I raced Cyprus Sunshine Cup for the second time – I did it also in 2012, which was an Olympic season as well. Not that I'm repeating any patterns, only searching for better conditions for training. And since I'm not keen of training camps I wanted to trick myself that I'm going there for racing.

And I actually was racing – first Afxentia horse class stage race and a week later C1 cross-country race in Voroklini. After winter months I again experienced everything that racing offers – goose bumps, nervousness and excitement before the start, taste of blood in my mouth (especially after prologue), fight for good position after the start and just before entering single trail, going over limits and relaxing at some point of the race, listening to myself and predicting next step, being at the front and falling far back after few minutes of racing. From being highly motivated to thinking of quitting. But at the end it WAS a training camp with collecting kilometers, technical skills and information of my current state.

Besides I enjoyed my first biking expedition in 2016 very much. I realized how much I already missed racing and meeting people with the passion for mountain biking. Cyprus offered us really good conditions with the warmth of the sun and only few drops of rain. Not only for biking, but also for relaxing by the beach or simply on a deckchair on a terrace.

When I'm feeling good, time simply flies. If only season continues like that. I'm thankful to technical coach and my lonely supporter on Cyprus Urban for being patient with me and doing everything that was planned to do with commitment and smile. I look forward to many more similar journeys with Unior Tools Team this year.

Photos by Urban Ferenčak, Cyprus Sunshine Cup/Ego Promotion and me

 

Winter, winter, lovely winter. What I like the most in winter is that special moment when you wake up, look through the window and see everything is white. That happened to me last Thursday after afternoon nap.


On the morning before that my coach Samo came to my hometown Ledine, which doesn't happen very often. Usually we go together on our bikes in Ljubljana, where he works and lives, and I do the rest of the errands in the city. Besides that there are surprisingly nice and technical trails around our capital and I love to ride there. But it’s also very often there in the wintertime, therefore also colder than in higher places. On that day temperatures were still bearable for biking and we did nice training together. Training wasn't so innocent and being a little tired I fell asleep after lunch unexpectedly. There was a rainy forecast for the afternoon and when I woke up I felt a bit confused seeing the nature through the window all covered with snow. It was a very nice feeling, which suddenly disappeared when I thought about indoor workouts, which I will need to do in next days if I stay at home.


Nevertheless it was time to do the afternoon workout with some strength exercises. I felt really excited while power sleep refilled me with energy and motivation. These kind of workouts are always done indoor no matter the outside conditions so I left the problem about staying at home and overheating on turbo trainer or going somewhere for a training camp for later. I'm sure there are many of you that can't understand why it is an issue to decide for a training camp in warm, sunny destinations. Who doesn't enjoy cycling in shorts when there is snowy winter at home? Well, believe it or or not, I don't.


Therefore I arranged myself a training room in our abandoned old house, where we used to live till I was 6 years old. I do all the indoor workouts there and besides I also have some space for keeping my bikes, tires and other equipment in one place. While I recently spent quite some time there I got an idea to introduce you my training room in details – that will follow next time. Photo material is already prepared and you can see a part of it for introduction. Whether I will write from home or some warmer place will yet to be announced.

 

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