For millions of outdoor athletes, racing season 2020 was pretty much cancelled altogether, even practice and training schedules were oftentimes impossible to maintain. We chatted with pro mtb rider and SOURCE ambassador Hannes Slavik about this challenging season and got a glimpse on his plans for 2021.
How did you experience the COVID-season 2020? Did you get to race at all?
In most of my disciplines (4x, BMX, Dual ) we are are not racing against the clock, but elbow to elbow, up to eight athletes at the same time. So nearly every event got canceled … only one small BMX Race took place and the highlight for sure was Crankworx Innsbruck, which took place – but without my home crowd cheering.
How did you keep your spirits up, with most of the races cancelled?
That’s not a problem. Normally the race season is extremely stressful with getting all the different bikes ready, getting comfortable with the bike every time I change from BMX to 4x to Enduro .. plus all the traveling. You are not riding the bike you would actually like to, but rather what’s best for your results. So this summer was different and all about having a good time and projects for my sponsors – like recording a short clip for you guys about the new Summit pack:
How much did the COVID regulations restrict your life where you live?
We live in the center of Vienna – I wish we had some more nature close by. During lockdown, I was allowed to go out, thanks to my status as an Austrian top athlete of the national bike federation. I didn’t have any major problems with neither training nor motivation – only the gyms were closed for some time.
Can you get something good out of this COVID year?
No one wants a pandemic but … after 18 years of traveling from one international race to the next, it was time for a year without all that. My girlfriend was pregnant, and it was actually great not to be out on the race circus during the last month of pregnancy. We had some extra time the two of us, before welcoming the newcomer 😊 In some ways, I am thankful I had this extra family time. But now I am really looking forward to travel around with them next season!
How do you keep fit during wintertime, to be ready for next season?
It’s unfortunate that the gyms are closed. But I can still do strength training at home. I am riding my bikes a lot and if there is no time for that, I go for a run, or do my cardio on the stationary indoor bike.
What are you looking forward to the most, when it comes to the 2021 racing season?
I really enjoyed that break after such a long time – but you won’t do 18 race seasons if you don’t love the head to head racing a lot in the first place! I am for sure the competitive type of person, but today I am way more relaxed than some years ago.
I am looking forward to be out there with the community, having nice racing events and whenever possible I will take my family with me… Everything I love in one place – that sounds good, right? 😊 After this year’s energy boost I am sure again that racing is not over jet for me – I had my best race season before lockdown and there are more to come!
You goals for the 2021 season?
Having a good time on and off the track – good results will follow. Focusing on Crankworx, 4x Worlds, Pumptrack Worlds and some photo and video projects.
Thank you for your time, Hannes! We are looking forward to seeing you racing next season!
Find out, why Hannes prefers the SOURCE Summit MTB Hydration Pack on his rides in this short video clip about the features and perks of the Summit pack.