In a break from our bustling road race calendar, 2023 threw us a curveball—a chance to venture into the thrilling world of cross-country marathon cycling. The stage was set at the XCM National Championships in Blajel, promising nearly 80km of winding trails and 2200m of elevation.
With the terrain dry and inviting, four of our teammates geared up at the starting line, eager to embrace this new challenge. As the race kicked off with an uphill start, three riders quickly surged ahead, including our very own @gerhard.moldansky. The pace was blistering, and spirits were soaring.
Yet, amid the adrenaline-fueled race, a few unexpected moments saw Gery lose the lead pack. Undeterred, he embarked on a relentless pursuit, ultimately clinching a well-deserved 🥉 in the Elite category. Meanwhile, @mattewpiciu, a standout U23 rider, showcased immense potential, finishing in the top 10 despite some course confusion.
For @iustinvaidian and @darius_craciunu, this was a debut mountain biking experience in a national championship environment. They navigated the trails with skill and determination, a testament to their adaptability and passion.
In the end, the day was about breaking free from our usual routine, embracing the unpredictable, and proving our mettle on diverse terrains. Huge congratulations to everyone, and a special tip of the hat to Gery for adorning our jersey on the podium—truly an exceptional feat. Onward we ride, ready for the next exhilarating challenges! 🌟🚴♂️ #MentoriseEliteTeam #XCMChampionships #OffRoadAdventures