Fast approaching 2020 racing season was turned around due to virus epidemic circumstances around the world. As the lockdown and self-isolation process of reducing the viral spread outbreak was implicated in most of the world, the start of beginning of downhill race season was also postponed until further notice. As situation at first glance with virus outbreak seems to get more manageable and life seems to slowly get back to normal, UCI published revised calendar for UCI MTB World Cup. Currently the start of the World Cup season is postponed until September where after all 7 rounds of World cup is planned and with World championships taking place in Leogang (Austria) on 5-11 October. Intense and action-packed autumn is ahead of us!
Our riders went to France for preseason Team camp right before the lockdown and after that all things shook up with almost everything putting on hold. Meanwhile riders tried to stay motivated and maintain thier fitness within self-isolation restrictions.
Žak: “When I first heard that the season was delayed, I was very upset. But then after a while I figured out that I needed a bit of a rest from all the training and riding. Now I’m kind of happy that the season was delayed because I have never been more excited to go back racing!”
Marko: “With everything that’s going on all around the world it is difficult to think that there’s going to be a season. But things are looking better right now and the idea of having a season is more likely to become reality than it was before. Quarantine has had a big influence on everyone. We as athletes have been questioning ourselves why are we training if we won’t race? It’s been hard to find motivation to keep training since nobody knew if we would have been able to race anytime soon.
With release of the updated World cup calendar I can definitely say that everyone has been working hard in order to make the season happen. Before that, I was worried of being robbed of the whole season as it’s my last year as Junior… I like the idea of having 2 races on one venue, especially if it is your “home” race which in our case is Maribor. Over the moon about these news! Now I hope that everything will settle down so that we can race and of course have a great time with all our mates!”
Žan: “At first I was pretty upset with cancellation of races as I felt ready to race… Self-isolation wasn’t that bad, I tried to stay fit at home as I could. There were some challenges as gyms and fitness centres were closed but it was the same for everyone. Late start for the season seems like a good idea as at first it seemed like there isn’t going to be any races. I like the idea of double events at the same venue, especially in Maribor. September is still far away with a lot of things still not clear, but I hope that travel restrictions won’t affect the racers outside the Europe.”
Things are getting back to its old ways and we cannot wait to get the racing season started!
Photo credits: Grega Stopar