On the Hunt for Gold
Alban Lakata crossed the finish line last year with four fingers raised in salute, signaling that after a gruelling 4 hours, 43 minutes to reach the KitzAlpBike finish line in the blistering heat, it was victory number four on the World Championship course in the Brixental. The Osttiroler has set his sights on a meday and Lisi Osl also has high hopes for the World Championships set on her doorstep.
Alban Lakata on the Mountain Bike Marathon-WM in the Brixental
Alban, four starts, four wins - over 94km and 4400 height metres your opponents haven't stood a chance…. Lakata: Last year I made a good time with 4h43, but I think to win a World Championship medal you need to be in even better form. The new downhill stetch is absolutely worthy of the race level and will be a challenge. I have never seen so dense a root network on a course. It will be difficult going into the championship race a a repeated winner at the KitzAlpBike - the pressure is massive. Can you do justice to your place as a favorite in Kirchberg? Lakata: This year the bar is raised relly high, but I like the course. I enjoy races where tactics play a part and the altitude difference speaks ofr itself. I succeeded last year in leaving a number of the racers who are potentially fast on this type of course behind me, not least the two Swiss, Lukas Buchli and Urs Huber. I am going to use the home advantage and train in the Brixental as often as possible, afterall, I only live an hour's drive away.
Lisi Osl is looking forward to the World Championships on her doorstep...
Lisi, you live just a couple of minutes' ride from the start. What does this World Championship mean for you?Osl: How many athletes have the chance to compete in a World Championship on their own training ground? Half of my family will be starting in the four other disciplines, and that is an amazing, unique feeling. How are your chances in the marathon? Osl: That is very hard to say, as I have never competed in a championship marathon event before. I have riden a couple of marathons before, and on home ground, but this is something very different. There are a fewCross Country racers who have also won a marathon World Championship, Gunn Rita Dahle, Ester Süss or Sabine Spitz. My main goal is to be up the top. The biggest challenge is the endurance. With Cross Country races we are used to two hours of cycling at full power, where as the marathon lasts at least double that amount of time, and that will be my biggest hurdle to overcome. How different is the preparation for this in comparison to Cross Country? Osl: It is important that I make the most of the home advantage and really look at the descents. I would advise the hobby cyclists to do the same. It is so frustrating to keep up in the climbs, only to lose your place in the downhill stretches.