Back from a frustrating period and the Olympic disappointment, the Brazilian focuses on the World Championships in Trentino (25-29 August), with the first Short Track title in mind: “When I am fast, it’s my race”
Starting the season on top of the world, number 1 of the UCI ranking, only to find oneself a few months later struggling with frustrations and fumbled goals, would be a difficult situation for any athlete to deal with.
After the disappointment of the Olympics and an underwhelming World Cup so far, Henrique Avancini is trying to put his lousy moment behind him, the result of a particular season that started with the wrong foot and the difficulty to leave Brazil due to the pandemic situation. The upcoming UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, scheduled from August 25th to 29th in Val di Sole, represent an opportunity for revenge for the Brazilian ace, taking part in the Short Track on Thursday, August 26th and the Cross Country on Saturday, August 28th.
"A World Championship is always a special occasion. Racing for your national team and with the rainbow jersey up for grabs is a unique feeling," said Avancini. - "In Tokyo, it didn't have the leg, the approach was optimal and yet I did not manage anything. I must have done something wrong, the hope is to make up for it at the World Championships, my favorite event."
The Olympic disappointment has left a wound in the Brazilian's pride, triggering broader considerations. "I'm trying to reset and reorganize my career and my life," he admitted. - "I think I still have a lot to give, at least physically, but I must find the competitive drive that makes the difference in training and racing. This year I missed it: the main goal in Val di Sole is not a medal but to find myself again, otherwise, it is pointless to compete. I have no intention of dragging myself out on the racecourses, even though mountain biking remains my greatest passion".
MTB enthusiasts hope that the atmosphere of Trentino will help the 32-year-old from Rio de Janeiro with Italian roots, to recover his motivation and pedal stroke. In Val di Sole, Avancini was able to pull out excellent performances by finishing second in Short Track and fourth in Cross Country in the 2019 World Cup. "This first edition of the Short Track World Cup is special for everyone. It's a nice discipline, and I think it will become more and more important," Avancini said. - "It's an interesting format that keeps on surprising. You don't have to make any mistakes. If I feel good and I'm going fast, it's my race."
"The Cross Country in Val di Sole has become a classic. It's a spectacular course, one of the most complete in the world. The left side of the circuit is not too smooth between stones and rocks, you turn slowly, and then there is the right side, fast and flowing. As the laps go by, you understand where you are doing well and losing time and need to hold the gap. The atmosphere is special: Val di Sole is one of my favorite places, it always leaves me with great emotions and good memories," concluded the Cannondale Factory Racing Team rider.
Busy program for the Short Track and Cross Country specialists. On the opening day, Wednesday, August 25th, the Team Relay is taking place (12.30), followed on Thursday, August 26th by the Junior Cross Country races (women at 11.30 and men at 13.30) and the Short Track competitions (women at 17.00 and men at 17.45). Finally, on Saturday, August 28th, it will be the time of the remaining Cross Country races (U23 women at 9.00, U23 men at 10.45, Elite women at 13.00 and Elite men at 15.45).