One week after the European Championships Cross triathlon we had another race: XTERRA Italy. But since we had three days to recover before we could start pre-riding the XTERRA course, we decided to do some fun stuff first.
A five hour drive from Germany brought us at Lago di Garda. Not because we wanted to spend some time at the lake, but because we wanted to visit Gardaland. We had an amazing day!
After this nice experience we had another 5 hour drive to get to Chieti, near Pescara. Elisabetta her mother is not from Sardegna but from Chieti, so we used this opportunity to visit her family. Another wonderful day with amazing people.
Sadly we couldn’t stay more days with them because we had a plan: to perform very good at XTERRA Italy. I needed this to prove to myself, my sponsors and everybody who helps me that I’m a top level pro athlete. When you don’t do the results you think you can do for a while, you start having a lot of self doubt. And that’s one of the worse things that could happen if you’re a pro athlete.
Elisabetta had her own reasons. Last year she was too scared to do the downhills on the mountainbike during the race and she had to get of the bike a lot. She was passed by too many girls who stayed on the bike and she felt really bad because of this. She also had a lot a breathing problems, probably related to the stress of the downhills and the fear of losing too many positions.
Here you have last years Episode:
Scanno has probably the hardest XTERRA race course in the world, but it’s our favorite one because of the long uphills (for Elisabetta), the long downhills (for me), the amazing nature and atmosphere and just because it’s Italy.
By race day we were relaxed and convinced we could do a good result.
Elisabetta was the first woman out of the water. My swim was good as well, but with such a long bike and run, the swim at XTERRA Italy almost doesn’t matter.
After the first huge climb of around 45min I was in 5th position and Elisabetta was still leading. In the descent and the remaining part of the race I stayed in that 5th position, but Elisabetta lost three positions.
We both felt tired during the run, but so does everybody at XTERRA Italy. I set the second fastest running time to move up to fourth place and Betta run herself towards her first podium finish at a World Tour XTERRA. In fact, she finished 4th like me, but the day after the race the organization disqualified the original third woman for an illegal bike change during the race.
We left Scanno filled with positive thoughts and big smiles on our face. We train hard, everyday, and struggle sometimes in our life as pro athletes. But after our performances in Scanno we realize it’s all worth it. Definitely if you can share these moments with each other and the wonderful people in our lives. Confidence in your own capabilities is one of the most important things in the life of a pro athlete, and XTERRA Italy fed us with this.
Bike: Scott Spark 900SL
Fork: 88+ tuned Lefty
Wheel set: Notubes ZTR Valor
Seat: Cobb HC170
Shades: Oakley Radar Lock
Grips: ESI Grips Racer’s Edge
Helmet: Lazer Z1
Running shoes: WatermolenSport
Lube: Squirt dry lube
Wetsuit: Sailfish G-Range