Manuela Tornare, ready for her first bike race.
Manuela Tornare from Kriens rides in an all-women's team in the FUN category at MONDRAKER ENDURO TEAM – her first ever bike race. In the interview she talks about her preparations, what she is looking forward to, what a voice inside her sometimes tells, what cappuccino has to do with all this and what her kids think of the fact that mum is now suddenly racing...
Manuela, this is your first time riding at MONDRAKER ENDURO TEAM. How did you find out about the event in Davos Klosters and how did you come to participate?
One day there was a call in the LadyBike chat of our club MTB Freeride Connection... The goal was to provide two pure women's teams for the race in the fun category. I had heard a lot of good things about MONDRAKER ENDURO TEAM before, as friends of mine had already ridden in it several times or had been involved in the event for years. Up to now, however, I considered it to be too difficult for me... Nevertheless, at some point I agreed to take part in one of the women's teams.
You come from central Switzerland. How well do you know the trails around Davos Klosters and how did you prepare for the event?
In 2021 I was in Davos for a lady bike weekend and therefore already knew some of the terrain. This year, however, I went back to the area twice for two days and rode the stages from last year as well as a few more trails – as a race preparation, but also because Davos Klosters is simply a beautiful and varied mountain bike region. Now I know most of the key sections and know how to ride them – or where it's better for me to get off the bike completely... 😉 I also rode in rain and mud intentionally several times, to become a bit more confident in these conditions. You never know... 😊
It's your first bike race ever. What are you looking forward to most and what are you worried about?
I'm most looking forward to just mountain biking for three full days, to be able to fully concentrate on it and to give my best in terms of sport! And, of course, spending lots of great time with my bike ladies and enjoying Davos with them for once, instead of Kriens. But there are also things I’m a bit worried about, for example faster teams coming from behind. That puts me under stress. And, of course, also the difficult key sections... I'm very curious to see whether my head will switch into race mode and develop ambitions, or if I’ll stay completely cool and relaxed, which is what I actually want. But every now and then I hear a voice inside me, telling me: "Manu, what have you gotten yourself into..." 😉
You are racing as women-only teams in the fun category. How many of you are there and are your teammates also competing for the first time?
Currently, we are ten women in two teams. For many of us it is the first bike race ever – so, a lot of exciting experiences ahead...
How well do you know each other? Do you usually ride together?
Our club basically runs a relaxed lady bike tour every Thursday evening. It’s very easy-going, whoever is able to come and wants to, is there, riders of all levels. We take it easy and care about each other. So, the composition of the group basically changes every week. That's why I know some of my teammates very well and some not at all.
What is your goal with MONDRAKER ENDURO TEAM?
"Freerideconnection" is our more ambitious "espresso" team, I will ride in the more relaxed "cappuccino" team, called "Girls on track". Our motto is, being there is everything, and we hope to fully live up to the term fun team. We just want to have a good time, bike a lot together and master the stages in a controlled manner, free of accidents! So, pure fun! And have a cappuccino in between, now and then! 😉
What do your kids think of the fact that mum is suddenly riding in a bike race?
Well, so far they actually don’t really know, what this all means – just like me… 😉 However, my family won’t miss this premiere! They’ll all be there and will hopefully cheer me on from the side of the race course!
Thanks a lot for the interview, Manu – we’re excited to see what your first race will be like!
Manu with teammate Corinne on a training day in Davos.
Manu at Grünsee in Davos.