Getting to know Vanesa Petrovská – The 15-year-old who would have finished 5th in Elite DH at Crankworx Innsbruck

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In Sunday’s downhill race at Crankworx Innsbruck, the time of 15-year-old Vanesa Petrovská would have allowed her to finish in fifth place in the women’s Elite race. Of course, she didn’t run exactly at the same time as Vali Holl, Nina Hoffman, Tahnee Seagrave and Camille Balanche, but there’s no doubt that she’s quick and a rider to watch for years to come. We reached out to her after her run to find out how she got into mountain biking, how she spends her days and what some of her goals are downhill.

Where do you come from?

I come from a small town called Bytča in Slovakia.

Who are you riding for?

I ride for Deem Racing Team. My sponsors are Trek Bikes CZ / SK, Bikeza, Deem Sports Wear, Rival Inserts, Top on Trail and Impa Economy.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I am very proud to have won the International Rookie Championship in 2019. I am sad that this race and last year did not take place because of Covid-19. In 2019 and 2020, I took part in two more Rookie cups which I also won. In 2019 I won the Slovak national championship and won all Slovak DH cups. Unfortunately, I was unable to participate in the Slovak National Championship last year due to a broken foot.

Then I am proud of my excellent result this year at Crankworx.

What does a typical day look like for you?

From morning to afternoon, I am at school and then I work out in the gym. If I have time, I ride my bikes with my friends.

How did you come to mountain biking?

A friend of mine invited me to ride our local trails, then I joined the local team and started running.

What’s the hardest part of being a mountain bike racer?

Tell people what sport I do and they still don’t get it. Being a cyclist is tough, but I like it so I can’t tell you what’s tough about it.

What’s the best part about being a mountain bike racer?

That I can still improve in something and have goals and that I can travel the world. I also like the feeling of racing and being with a large community of people.

What are your strong points ?

I would say I’m good at not getting on my nerves and after each race I feel faster and faster. In every race I feel so focused and go much faster than in training and I don’t even know how it’s possible. Sometimes I think it’s my super power.

What are your weaknesses?

I would say maybe my weakness is sprint power, but I’m really trying to improve this season.

Where is your favorite place to ride?

In Slovakia, I love riding at the Kálnica bikepark which is by far our best freeride spot. Abroad, I really enjoyed riding in France around Nice like Mandelieu, Blausasc. Also, the trails of Finale Ligure.

What has been your worst accident in years?

Two years ago I had a triple fracture of the radius and ulna and a dislocated wrist and it looked like a hockey stick. Then, a year ago, I had a triple fracture in my foot.

Who is your favorite rider?

My favorite female riders are Rachel Atherton and Vali Holl, my favorite male riders are Kade Edwards and Loic Bruni.

What is your favorite motto or proverb?

Never give up and do everything to pursue your dreams.

What is your favorite food ?

My favorite dish is the Slovak national dish called bryndzové halušky.

What bothers you?

Long been in the city and stupid people.

What makes you happy?

Everything about the bikes makes me happy. I like to shred with my friends and have fun.

What do you like away from bikes?

I love to ski, hike and just hang out with my friends.

What do you think of events like Redbull Formation?

I really like this event. It’s so crazy to see a freeride event for women and I was so excited to watch it. It’s my dream to be at an event like this. I spent a lot of time on my dirt jumper and my DH bike learning tricks like them.

How does it feel to be in the top 5 elite women at Crankworx Innsbruck?

It was great because there was a lot of work behind it and it motivated me so much.

How do you want to be remembered?

There are a lot more things I want to accomplish on my bike, but the main ones are winning World Cups and being world champion and someone who is always ready to have a good time and laugh.

What future for Vanesa Petrovská?

Many more years of downhill trying to be the best, trying to get into a factory team and of course still having fun and being a good person.


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