• Mariske Strauss

XCE World Cup, Sakarya TUR

This past weekend was my first time back racing in what feels like forever! As an athlete, we are wired to race and when life comes at you from all angles and you are unable to do the one thing you have dedicated so many countless hours towards you do feel a bit lost. Thankfully I am seeing the light and racing has kicked off with a bang here in Turkiye.


To those who do not know I got Covid end of May after which I fractured my hip in a crash in a Czech XCO cup, thankfully I have an amazing team around me and before I knew it we were prepping for SA Champs. I then set my sights on the Commonwealth games and was super motivated to finally be back racing, then one week before I was scheduled to leave from Birmingham I fell ill again, so imagine my surprise when my pre-flight covid test came back positive!! I actually burst out laughing in disbelief! We tested again and checked my viral levels and unfortunately it was not good.


God has a plan… although at this point I was really hoping He would give me a little clue as to what that was. But like they say when God closes one door he opens two more or a window, and He did. Shortly after all this, I got an invitation from Citymountainbike to come to race the XCE World Cups! So here I am, being adaptable and climbing through my newly opened window. This past weekend we kidded off with the race in Sakarya, Turkiye; and it was so much fun. I really do love pushing my body and I am so proud of my performance.


The track was perfectly suited to my skill set, with more XCO style we had a good climb leading into a rock garden followed by a jump and what I later would call “chain drop bridge”. As with any race, nerves are real, and no matter how many times you line up when the time comes the butterflies' stars flutter! I had a solid qualifying heat finishing 4th, and my heats went better and better, physically I was really happy but unfortunately, I kept dropping my chain! I made it to the finals but unfortunately finished in 4th. Turkiye really put on a great show and I am leaving happy and excited for the next round!



Up next is Indonesia so a big travel day coming up! Thanks so much for all the support, I really hoped you all enjoyed the show & if you missed it go check out the coverage on the CityMountainbikes YouTube page!


Hope you all have a stunning week ahead <3


M

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