Nove Mesto na Morave MTB World Cup – FFWD XCO

30 May

This race report should have been online earlier, but better later than never.

10 years ago, in May 2012 I had the chance to race my very first Mountainbike World Cup. Back then UCI strongly thought the XCE (Eliminator) was something for the future. Meanwhile things had changed and now the Short Track (XCC) is part of the World Cup.

A lot of things have changed in Nove Mesto too. Vysocina Arena and the surroundings caught the momentul and the development is amazing for our sport. How could you beat such a venue?

This is by far my favorite World Cup venues of all times because… everything: the course, the crowd, the area, the vibes. I really enjoy my time in the Czech Republic every year.

(C) Armin M. Kustenbruck / EGO-Promotion

I had a good preparation and even though things got a bit busier than the previous years I could train for this. Like in Black Jack the numbers were good but emotionally I was a wreck. First, our accommodation reservation was canceled because the owner simply want it more money than we have originally booked the location for. So 10 days prior to the even I had to find a solution, and I am glad I did: found a nice camping, close to the venue and cheaper. The weather was on our side so except that we didn’t had a lot of room, everything was perfect. I went there with Andrei, my physiotherapist, who’s taking care of my lower back and pushes my upper body to be faster on the bike.

The course… well I can not remember when I was so dry and fast. Actually was loose on some sections too but man, it was very fast and flowy. Loved every single lap on it. I got faster and more confident even though this year I didn’t had too many races and I am still having financial issues and struggles to keep racing.

I could make an article about how to race a World Cup with a small budget, maybe I’ll influence more and more riders to experience and see on their own what does it mean to race at such a level. Stay close on this one.

But a World Cup is not only about the actual race. Catching up with guys that are both idols and friends, meeting some old and new people, feeling the same things that World, Olympic or Continental Champions feel during the race: the emotion of the fans. I never thought that I will have fans but actually in Czech Republic I have a handful of people that are glad to see me every year. And I am grateful to see them too.

Everything was ready for the big race. Andrei managed to keep me fresh and ready. Relaxed and activated in the same time. We got our time to do everything as it has to be done so I was hoping to be able to give my very best.

We didn’t had any crash right after the start so this was a quite positive thing that went off my mind, buuut right after the end of the “tech zone” it happened, loosing about 30 seconds, because I couldn’t pass the bunch of fallen riders. In the very same start lap another couple of riders managed to kiss each other handlebar falling down again in front of me, without any problems for me except more lost time. Last, but not least the usual “stau” at the end wooden bridge of AC/DC section where the course gets very narrow. Afterwards it was full gas. Well, full gas for me at least, doing my best. I had better time, better power output, better everything than all the previous years but these guys are progressing too. So I must be grateful with the 108th place after starting from 148 but having on my side thousands of people cheering for me. It was insanely emotional and I will cherish these memories for the rest of my life. I simply hope that I will still have another chance to race again a World Cup this year.

(C) Niklas Harmann / EGO-Promotion

Many thanks to everyone who stood by my side since when things got complicated. You’re simply the best.

Thank you. Yours, Vlad

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