We had the opportunity, through the FANTAmtb channels, to exchange a few words with Eleonora Farina, before being tested in the famous Quiz 'Who wants to be a thoroughbred biker'.
Where are you?
I'm in Finale Ligure for training: we did four days at Sanremo with the national team and we finished on Saturday (3 days ago, ed). So I stopped a few more weeks, until Easter.
You don't have a house in Finale right?
No, I don't have a house, but there's always some good accommodation here. And there's always someone around, she's always beautiful and alive. I had to transform winter training a bit and Finale is perfect.
I see coach Simone Fabbri as very motivated this year. Tell us a little background.
Well yes. Simone Fabbri has been in charge since last year: the atmosphere is very youthful. In my opinion the atmosphere has changed a bit, for the better, just think that there were 6 girls called up! This was already a record. It's never happened before: it's very beautiful and inspiring to see young girls grow up. And then we've already made 2 retreats: one in Finale Ligure and one in Sanremo. We rode a lot, did long enduro rides, we have an MTB Hopper ramp, freelaps to set the times. In short, come on, we're on track, here we are. A nice group.
So no Strava.
Don't use Strava?
Stopwatch on the handlebars and off you go.
This year I'm seeing that you're training a lot on the aerial stages: I always see you jumping in stories on social media. Do you feel a bit deficient in terms of jumping?
But I've actually improved a lot in the last few years. If I remember the first years of the World Cup, the jumps were the aspect that scared me the most: these double giants when rock gardens didn't scare me so much. I remember when I watched the New Zealanders whipping in the doubles and then I saw them standing near four stones and I thought: "what are they looking at!?".
So you're working a lot on that aspect.
Yes, as I said, I'm working a lot on it and over the years I've improved my basic jumping technique a lot. I work on it a lot in the winter: jumps, pumping, picking up speed on landings, in order to always be smoother and faster. And I would say that I did a great job and I'm happy.
Have you also attended Pump Track plants?
Absolutely, even if unfortunately I don't have any good ones close to home. Then I have to do a few kilometers here and there. But it's also beautiful: so I went around, I saw several Pumps and there was a good workout.
Can we choose you at FANTAmtb this year? Are you loaded?
For sure, choose me!
But a curiosity: after the 4 victories at the Italian DH Championship (from 2017 to 2020), because in the last few years you haven't been able to repeat yourself.
Last year I didn't participate, unfortunately, because it was between two World Cup races: the race would have been on Sunday and on Tuesday there was already the walking tour in Washington. In short, for a speech of coincidences I was unable to participate. While the year before (2021) Veronica had been strong. In short, let's see this year: it seems to be in a good period, in mid-July away from other important races.
Is there room for other goals this year besides the World Cup?
Well you said World Cup and I add World to it. I feel like every year I grow more and more so why not dream big. Last year I had good third places, I finished 5th in the general standings. They are there so let's hope for a good result.
Out of curiosity: the early years, when you were less experienced, how did you deal with fear in a particular jump? Did you get behind someone who could do it? Did you think about it all night and not sleep?
I would say a little and a little, in the sense that I studied it well, so maybe I watched the juniors do it. I stood there, looked closely at the speed, played with it, then maybe tried without doing it. I saw the speed. I'd stick behind someone and see if the speed was enough to pull them up. But many then came out of these ramps pumping beyond belief and I said to myself: "but I haven't got this hollata outside". Now I've trained her so she's much better but it was scary at first. When I had already decided that it was within my capabilities, I tried to calm down by seeing myself, visualizing myself doing it and then I spent a few minutes before the jump taking deep breaths and away, without thinking about it.
How do you see yourself on the theoretical side of mountain biking? Follow the news a bit.
I've had some experience in the world, but I'm not a tech nerd at all, not at all. So I hear the news but maybe I don't go into detail.
You train in Cross Country?
Look. Last winter Mondraker gave me a beautiful down country. I enjoy him a lot. Also bi-cushioned.
Good luck to Eleonora, hoping it will be a year full of satisfactions.