Interview with Alessandra Keller

8. August 2022

Foto: KifCat

For the first time in her career, the former U23 world champion was able to win a cross-country race.

How did you find «your» day? Can you give us an insight into your race and how you were feeling?

The day of my first cross-country victory was very special. First thing in the morning we discovered we had to cycle 7 laps instead of 6 and the almost dry conditions turned muddy during the race due to the oncoming rain. I was already convinced before the race that those who focussed on themselves and their race, coped well with the conditions and made the fewest mistakes would win here. And that's exactly how it was. I had the best risk management, could capitalise on my physical and technical skills and was mentally able to stay on the ball.

After three difficult years, it was wonderful to cross the finishing line as the winner. I had to work very hard during this time and therefore see it as a reward.

The more success you have, the greater the pressure and expectations. How do you deal with this situation? What advice can you perhaps give to amateur athletes who also suffer from nervousness before competitions?

More often than not, the pressure you put on yourself is greater than that from others. And you have to learn to deal with this. The better you have it under control, the sooner you can achieve your personal best.

I would advise amateur athletes to try to find out how they can perform best without getting nervous. Be it with calming and distraction techniques, or other competitions to keep them in racing mode.

What are your three most important training tips for amateur cyclists still wanting to participate in a race (MTB marathon) this year?

  1. Start at your level and don't overdo it.
  2. Build on this step by step and don't plan individual steps that are too big.
  3. Enjoy the process of getting better and look forward to the event.

Do you have 1 insider tip you would be willing to share with us?

I don’t have a real insider tip. Consistency and familiar routines in terms of training, nutrition, and the competition, for example, will have a positive effect on your performance.