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Face to face with Eleonora Farina, the queen of female DH

Eleonora Farina, born in 1990, from Trentino, was European DH champion in 2017 and is now permanently Top10 in the World Cup with important podiums to her credit. We exchanged 2 words with her.

Eleonora Farina

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.

Eleonora Farina Val di Sole 2022
Eleonora Farina in action on the Black Snake (Credits: Daniele Molineris)

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.

Eleonora Farina
Eleonora Farina - Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

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.

Eleonora Farina
Eleonora Farina - © Bartek Wolinski / Red Bull Content Pool

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.

Written by

[email protected] I am a fan of everything that has 2 wheels: at a young age I practiced road and track cycling (Italian Allievi champion). At the age of 18 I passed into the cross country competing at national/international level as an Under23. Past Elite, I made the choice to take things more lightly from a training point of view, and my love for gravity disciplines was born, training me as an FCI MTB instructor and guide. Now I have made passion my profession by managing 2 MTB centers on the island of Elba (Bike Center Elba and Elba MTB), creating the FANTAmtb and telling in an ironic but professional way everything that revolves around MTB thanks to 365mountainbike and 365TV (YouTube'PULITI dentro BIKER fuori').


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