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  • Mariske Strauss

XCO WC #5&6-Val di Sole, ITA & Lenzerheide, SUI

Another one bites the dust


My goodness I really do not have the best track record this season do I. After quite a stressful week at home I am a little more composed. So let’s begin from the start, being your own manager has its pro’s and cons. Pro; well you can decide what to do and when but con ITS CRAZY stressful! To all the managers out there hats off but then again that’s your full time job so actually don’t feel too bad. Haha I have had to up my logistical planning skills this year and all and all I think I have done an excellent job at it. BUT this round it came done to the wire, literally. So much so that I got my passport back 1hour before I headed off the the airport. This was more due to the fact that traveling with a “groen mamba” presents a little bit more of a challenge. Anyway I got my passport and made it to Italy in one piece.

Then like having had all this drama wasn’t enough nature decided to sprinkle some extra entertainment in the form of a bee sting. Thanks Universe I like challenges, being slightly allergic I was freaking out a little especially because no pharmacy was open between 12-4?! Really Italy?!!

Anyway I luckily survived and composed myself in time for an interesting XCC on the Friday. Torrential down pours made sure we were kept on our toes in the XCC. Like racing flat box for 20min wasn’t enough. I managed to find my mud legs after about two laps and then worked myself up to a super 14th place.





This was followed by a super warm XCO race on Sunday. I had a super start… the rest of the race was a little bit of a blur. I do remember not really having suspension, with my fork that decided to bomb out on me. I placed 24th in the end and not having achieved what I wanted we set off to the land of crystal clear pools and snowcapped mountains, Switzerland.

The days leading up to the event was cold and wet. This meant for a lot of sliding around, which I have to admit was quite fun. Before I knew it, race day was already on us again. This time bone dry conditions was on the menu, even with all the rain we had leading up to Friday. I had a mega start again coming through in top 10, feeling on fire I was ready for it. Until I misjudged the first corner off the start straight into the first full lap. I landed right on my knee & hip at about 30km/h, after this well let’s just say pedaling wasn’t as effortless as before.

I rolled home to do some damage control and try get my body ready. The next morning I could hardly move my leg which is slightly problematic when the main aim of your sport is to, well pedal. I made the call to take it easy and didn’t even do a final course check, probably the first time ever. Sunday came and I had somewhat normal movement in my leg again. I decided to make the best of my situation and give my best. Looking back I probably shouldn’t be too hard on myself. Having a slightly out of order body definitely is not the right formula for a good result at a World Cup. Needless to say I was completely broken after this event. This was not how I wanted to end of the season but unfortunately sometimes that’s how it goes. So the only way I know how to deal with this is get up dust yourself off take what you can and focus forward. This is what I did, I knew World Champs was around the corner and to get myself ready I had to let go and trust the journey.



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