XCO National Championships

1 Aug

After a two years when the National Championships were in Deva and Zarnesti, this year we came back to Paltinis to race on one of the most difficult courses, both technical and physical. I had a a huge pressure on my shoulders especially because I want it to do good result and also because I trained most of the time for this specific race. I had a lot of help from with training and nutritional plans from Stefan Röschl from Schritt Zwei / Cannondale Factory Racing and Andrei, the man who took a good care of my lower back for over a year now.

The pressure and anxiousness were supposed to be positive and I had a good feeling because I knew what I can do.

We started together with the U23 with the first World Cup winner from Romania: Vlad Dascalu, having 6 laps in total. I knew that it will be a longer race, close to the 2 hours mark so I tried to keep calm after the start and do the race in my own rhythm.

I had three good laps, fighting with Cristi Stan and Adi Popa for the 5th place at Elite. In the fourth and fifth lap I struggled a bit, losing some time and they got a away. In fact Cristi had a great race overtaking also Alex Stancu and finishing 4th at Elite. In my case I got 7th at Elite and 12th overall. I was lapped only by Vlad Dascalu, but this was kinda expected.

I thought that I would keep the UCI points but according to the UCI rules the Federation can send the overall classification (Elite+U23) and so they did.  I can understand their decision and even if I would like to have more points, I respect it. As much as I am training and put a huge effort to race at World Cups I hope to have the Federation support in the next season too.

This is how I have ended my 15th consecutive XCO National Championship, with ups and downs, looking forward to see what the future will bring.

Congratulations to the organizers and to everyone who raced.

Many thanks to my family for their understanding and huge support. It was a joy to have my son Felix at the feedzone (even if he didn’t give me any bottles yet), to my sponsors for making this trip possible and putting me on the best possible bike, to Stefan for the training and nutritional plans, to Andrei who kept my back strong and to everyone who cheered me up.

As for me I will keep training, racing, raising cancer awareness and try to keep fighting for those who can’t.

Thank you once again to everyone for everything.




Photo credit: Florin Muresan, Tibi Hila

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