After winning a new Estonian champion title, Greete Steinburg made a detour to Austria and the Alpen-Tour before arriving in Valais, to do her first race in Switzerland during the Raid Evolénard. During her stay, she also discovered the course of the World Championships in Grächen. The Raid Evolénard collected his first impressions:
After your Estonian champion title, you took part directly in the four-stage race of the Alpen-Tour in Austria and now you are already in Switzerland… How did you decide on this planning?
I ran in Alpentour 2 years ago and I had a bad fall on the first stage after about 40 km. I couldn’t run there anymore, but I finished the lap as a training. Last summer, I had national championships xcm at the same time as the Alpentour and I couldn’t go back. This year was the right time for me, and I decided that I wanted to go back and create good memories. It was also part of my preparation for the European Championships. Coming to participate in the Raid Evolénard and discover the route of the world championships was a great opportunity to refine this preparation
Riding on the Raid Evolénard course was your first mountain bike experience in Switzerland… How did it go?
I love nature, mountains and people in Switzerland. Switzerland really seems to be a mountain biking paradise, so I really enjoyed being able to discover this region.
Can you tell us a little more about mountain biking in Estonia compared to Switzerland?
Unfortunately, we do not have mountains in Estonia. The highest point is 318 m above sea level. So we don’t have a „real“ ATV. Our marathons are quite fast, many gravel roads, but we also have beautiful tracks with many roots. It’s a little more „hilly“ to the south, so I prefer to drive there. But it must be said that all the races are very well organized and we have many races!
During your stay in Valais, you also took the opportunity to discover the course of the World Championships in Grächen. Can you describe a little bit what awaits the runners in September?
The World Championships course is nice! Many climbs, really impressive descents and fast and fun singletrails. Most of the major climbs are on asphalt and are not very steep. It’s much harder here in Evolène and so it’s a good training. I loved the technical trails and small villages we crossed.
Do you think it’s a path that will suit you well? What will be your goal for this championship?
I think it might be fine for me. Not too technical and a lot of climbing. It’s certain that the strongest will win! I will work hard for the World Championships and will do my best to get my best result so far. Last year, I finished 21st, of course, I want to do better this year.
What will be your next destinations after your departure from Evolène on Monday?
We’re going home with my father. After my return to Estonia, I would do a good week of training, then at the end of June I would plan a marathon race in Finland, then I would go to Norway for the European XCM Championships. I’m really looking forward to running there!