A new wave of Czech MTBO talents

Posted on | September 27, 2016 | Category: News

The Czech Republic has experienced a boom in young MTBO talents in recent years. At the World MTBO Championships in Portugal it payed off in both junior and senior classes.

Nine medals. Five gold. That was the impressive result for the Czech Republic after the junior and the senior World MTBO Championships (WMTBOC) in Portugal this summer. The good results are not only delivered by a few, but a wide range of different Czech riders fight for the medals. One of the talents who got his breakthrough at WMTBOC this year was Vojtěch Ludvík. As third year senior, he took his first two medals at a World Championship with silver at Middle and gold with the Czech relay team:

Most of the Czech MTBO riders lives in different cities so the daily training is often on their own. Photo: Joaquim Margarido

– I think I already had the potential last year, but this year I have prepared myself much better than last year. I have been on many MTBO weekends and I split my last year of university, so I had more time for training and relaxing. However, I really did not expect to come back home with two medals, Vojtěch Ludvík says.

On the women’s side, Martina Tichovská has been the star in Czech MTBO for a while but she might soon get serious challenge by Veronika Kubínová. At the junior WMTBOC this summer, she was outstanding and won four gold medals out of four possible:

– I just find myself in this sport. In the beginning when I joined the Czech MTBO team, I focused on how to deal with the map and not losing pointless seconds. It is not necessary to stop at every crossroads for instance. In addition to that, I worked hard to improve my technique on bike – downhill, uphill, jumping and rotations at controls. Year by year I have improved my skills, and now I am here. There is no magic power, Veronika Kubínová says.


Always a superb group

Many reasons can be mentioned trying to explain the new wave of Czech talents. Good terrain, short distances in between them, many high quality events and a national coach always looking for new talents. According to Vojtěch Ludvík and Veronika Kubínová, there is a more important reason though:

– The weekend races usually have some party with a cultural program, which helps to create a nice Czech MTBO community. The younger ones are together in the junior team and they have a good time together, so I think it’s due to those lasting friendships we keep so many in the sport, Vojtěch Ludvík says.

Punching race is on of Veronika Kubínová’s favorite trainings. A small place with 15 controls, and then it is about punching them all as fast as possible. Photo: Joaquim Margarido

Veronika Kubínová agrees. Hosting 4-5 training camps a year, the Czech MTBO junior team has a great atmosphere of friendship:

– It is great time to be a junior. Every year someone leaves the team but at the same time, someone new joins us; no matter what, it is always a superb group, Veronika Kubínová says.


Look for a tsunami

The quality of Czech MTBO was illustrated in the men’s relay at the WMTBOC in Portugal. In the Czech men’s second team, all three riders were former WMTBOC medalists. Looking at the results from the European Youth MTBO Championships 2016, there is no reason to think the flow of talents will stop temporarily. In men’s 17, Jan Hašek won both Long and Sprint and came second in Middle while in women’s 17 Vilma Králová won the Long distance and came second in Middle:

– Everyone in the 2016 Czech MTBO junior team has a big potential to fight for junior and later senior medals. They just have to improve their map reading skills and keep up the training, Vojtěch Ludvík says and accentuates Veronika Kubínová as one to take notice of at senior level in a few years.

Kryštof Bogar, Vojtěch Ludvík and Vojtěch Stránský (from left) won the Relay at WMTBOC 2016 with almost two minutes in front of Russia in second position. Photo: Joaquim Margarido

Veronika Kubínová is positive about her own future as well. Describing the conditions for those some years younger than her, she also predicts a bright future. This year a successful “Kids camp” where held for small kids learning the basic of MTBO. Other news in the Czech Republic is a new class following a marked trail for small kids under 12 years old.

Vojtěch Ludvík has also taken notice of more kids in the MTBO community:

– Few years ago, there were almost no children in MTBO in the Czech Republic. Now many MTBO parents raise their kids into the sport, so I think that in few years, the Czech Republic youth team will be very strong, Vojtěch Ludvík says.

Veronika Kubínová adds:

– If you wait five years there will not be a Czech MTBO wave, there will be a Czech tsunami!

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