Blanka Vas combines road race with world mountain bike cross-country U23 championship

Blanka Vas combines road race with world mountain bike cross-country U23 championship

"Qualification for Olympics is the goal"


Blanka Vas is a multi-talent. Not only does she excel on the road and in the field, she has set goals in mountain biking as well. That is why the 21-year-old Hungarian is combining the world mountain bike cross-country U23 championship in Glasgow with the road race. "I think mountain biking is a wonderful discipline and I want to compete on this at the Olympics. I hope to qualify in Glasgow. Also, the explosive course of the road race should suit me in itself."

2023 marked the year of confirmation for Blanka Vas. In 2021, the Hungarian was already good for fourth place in the mountain bike race at the Olympics. A ranking she equalled at the elite World Championships in Leuven. This season, the Hungarian wrote two WorldTour victories on her record by winning stages in the Tour of Switzerland and the Giro Donne. Although that does not mean she will only focus on Sunday's road race in Glasgow. Vas has her sights set on qualifying for the mountain bike Olympics and will therefore ride the U23 cross-country race on Friday.

"If I get a good result here, I will qualify for the Olympics cross-country in Paris. Most of the big countries in the top-ten already have enough points, so for qualification I have to focus mainly on the smaller countries. It will be a matter of doing better than them. My goal is to finish in the top five, then I am definitely qualified. The course should suit me normally. It is a built-up circuit, which will make it a fast, hard power race. That suits me. The favourite to win is probably Sofie Heby Pedersen, although it's hard for me to judge the other competition. It has been three years since I competed against them, so I don't really know what to expect. The best thing is to focus on myself. I feel good. I believe in qualifying."

Two days later, she will enter the road race. "I hope my legs will have recovered, because the men's race seemed particularly tough. But I do like the many turns and the short climbs and intervals. The course in Glasgow should suit me normally. The distance is very long though, so it remains to be seen how fresh I will still be in the final."

"I am heading to the road race with no pressure," Blanka Vas continued. "I have nothing to lose. So I'm going to stay calm, try to position myself well and try to save myself as long as possible by following the right wheel. The U23 world title is playing a bit in my head. My plan is not to focus on the other promising riders, but to come out as good as possible in the elite category. If that succeeds, I will be close. If it doesn't work out, then there's no way back. This season can't go wrong already. The pieces of the puzzle fell together. I believed in myself more and found my place in the team. I never thought I could win sprints, but my team leaders convinced me that I had it in me. It is unbelievable that I could take two World Tour victories. I hope to add two more good results in Glasgow, in the cross-country and on the road."

Read also

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now