Germany's Sabine Spitz is ready to add to this year's medal collection. After winning gold in the European Mountain Biking Championships and silver in the Worlds, she will be looking for another medal in Beijing, hoping to improve on her bronze from the Athens Olympics.
"The planning is going right," she said. "We did all the right things before the Worlds. This result is proof and gives us something to build on. Naturally, I was a bit disappointed" to finish second in the Worlds again, for a second year in a row, the 36 year-old admitted. "I really felt very good and had a real chance at the title."
She will now take a short break before getting back into training. "After a break of about a week, there is the altitude training in Engandin. Then I will start the Thüringen Rundfahrt [July 22 to 27] on the road, before I start the specific mountain biking training at home in the Black Forest. To get used to things, we will fly to Japan early before going to Beijing."
Spitz was surprised at the performance of the Chinese riders in the Worlds. "We had expected the Chinese to be stronger. A lot of people are wondering now what has happened to them. But I won't make the mistake of writing them off. We'll see." (SW)
(Editorial assistance and research provided by Susan Westemeyer)