It’s mid-April already! The year is already getting on, but the season is still young. With the first XCO World Cup not until the end of May, we are still testing our cross-country legs and putting in some big blocks of training.
After the success of Cape Epic for Annie and Mariske, and what turned into an Epic training week for Martin, there were some very tired legs. These riders have been listening carefully to their bodies and recovering really well. Following some well-deserved rest, they are now in the process of switching from endurance training and racing to the fast, intense efforts of cross-country racing.
One week after the Cape Epic, Mariske raced in Namibia. It was a tough call for a fatigued body, but she still managed an excellent podium finish.
This weekend just passed, Martin and Annie took on the HC Sabine Spitz Gold Trophy in Bad Sackingen, Germany. A stacked Elite field of Men and Women made for some exciting racing and a true test of where our riders were at following their switch to XCO focus. Annie made an amazing start, leading the field round the start loop, and then settled into the lead group in the early stages of the race. Unfortunately with high tree pollen levels, Annie began to suffer badly with allergies and had to withdraw from the race on the penultimate lap. Despite not posting a top result, we are really positive about how Annie performed and all signs are good for some fine form to follow! Martin also put in a great performance. He was held up at the start but fought back to be racing in the top ten for the first half of the race. Towards the end of the race the pace was just a bit too high for Martin to maintain and he dropped back a few places but finished in a really strong 15th position. The sensations were good and Martin’s motivation is super high.
Up in Scotland, Isla has had a stellar start to her year. She began her 2017 campaign in Spain with the National Team, producing a superb 7th place Elite (2nd U23) at the HC level race in Banyoles. It was Isla’s highest ever HC result and a great indication of what’s to come. Indeed, she backed this result up with a dominant win at the opening Scottish XC Series and then a 2nd place at the British XC Series. Isla has her head held high and is full of excitement and confidence for the season ahead.
With this great start to 2017, we can’t wait to see what the rest of the year will bring!