Catharine Pendrel (Canada)
Every Olympics is an incredibly special opportunity to represent your country. For me, Rio is a chance to have that amazing performance I would love to have at an Olympics.
Canada is going in with two women capable of earning a medal. My goal is to have the best performance possible. I know I am capable of a medal. I also know there are a lot of women capable of the same so I’ll just go and ride my bike as fast as I can!
They have built a good circuit in Rio. The climbs are perhaps not as steep as a typical World cup course, but they will be hard. The course will be fast and the downhills are pretty fun!
I broke my thumb at the end of February. It should have been just a small injury, but the bone didn’t heal so I had surgery to pin it together and then later got a bone infection due to the pins inserted in my thumb so it was nice to finally have a problem free training block these last three weeks!
Favourites for the medals: Annika, Jenny, Jolanda and myself 😉
Raiza Goulã0 (Brazil)
The Olympic event is the world’s most important sport event and It will be my first participation, so I am very excited and anxious about it. I am also very happy to have this opportunity to promote the MTB in my own country. I find myself thinking about the race and all the local people shouting and supporting me. Certainly it will be one of the best times of my life.
Based on the start list and my results this year, the national team expects me to finish between 15th and 20th. Personally I believe the crowd will give me extra strength and I am confident in achieving something better. The best riders of the world will be in Rio and a Top15 will be great for sure.
The circuit is 100% artificial but it is very fun. It seems they reproduced some technical parts of the world cup courses, with a long climb and many short technical sectors, up and down.
The Brazilian federation’s criteria for the Olympic selection was the number of points accumulated during the 2 years of the Olympic qualification window. I had to travel and compete a lot, in order to get the points. In the end of 2015, I was exhausted and concerned if I could have set up an overtraining or overreaching condition, but I am very glad that my coaches anticipated my holidays and planned a calendar this year focusing on conquering the qualification and then reach the peak of performance in Rio.
I believe the favorites for the podium are Annika Langvad, Jolanda Neff, Jenny Rissveds, Maja Wloszczowska and Sabine Spitz, in any order.
Githa Michiels (Belgium)
For me Rio 2016 means a lot, it is a really big event with a lot of great athletes to compete with.
It would be great to finish this race feeling that I have given it all, I will do everything possible to be the best I can be!
It is a great track with fast climbs and technical sections, something that suits me well.
I had a lot of bad luck in the big championships last years, I never could show my best shape, it was really difficult to deal with that when you know that your shape is good.
Favorites for the medals: Jolanda Neff, Annika Langvad and Gunn Ritha Dahle