Kisaraportti koirapyöräilyn MM-kilpailuista 2019

Race report on the 2019 World Championships in dog cycling

Four days of the battle of the world's fastest sledding athletes

The melting pot of luge sports, the IFFS World Championships took place on October 23-27, 2019 in Sweden. During the four-day race, more than 400 competitors with their dogs had time to chase the titles of the world's fastest sled athletes.

One of Finland's representatives in women's dog cycling was Tanja Ignatius with her dog Bambi. The team made an intact competition performance, which was enough for a great 21st place in the tough World Cup competitions. It's been a week since the race trip and the double sled really hasn't rested on its laurels! However, Tanja managed to gather her thoughts about the World Cup trip for us to read as well.

1. How was your trip/performance?

The trip to the World Championships in Nybro went well! Bambi survived the exciting ship trip like an old man, and travel life was not stressful anyway. There was a lot of new and wonderful things at the competition venue, but it was a really strong performance! In the competition performance, Bambi's drive end was really tested when the competition route passed the pit several times and there were many photographers on the route. Bambi's first pass in the races also went exactly as it should! The dog was absolutely brilliant on both days, although the wet weather on the second day seemed to make him tired. The driver's performance, on the other hand, was unnecessarily cautious, but nevertheless they were able to reach their own level of performance.

2. The race was two days long. However, was the track the same and were the conditions different on different days?

The course was exactly the same on both days. The conditions on the first day were dry and the temperature in the shade was almost 15 degrees. By the second day, the temperature dropped a bit, but the humidity was really high, which was reflected in Bambi's endurance worse than the heat. On both days, however, the track was in fast condition and pleasant to drive.

3. Did the race go as you expected?

We performed at our own level in the race. Nothing really went bad, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. We went to get experience and got really good experience. We are satisfied!

4. Did something surprise you?

I was surprised by Bambi's calmness in the kitchen. The girl showed a lot of maturity in the race, even though she still has very little experience.

5. Do you have certain areas in mind (both yourself and Bambi) that you want to develop?

Bambi still needs to develop the confidence to run in the race even if there is a lot of crowd or other disturbances. Now it went well, but the extra head turning should be eliminated and the focus should still be completely forward. Basic fitness should also be developed a lot. The young dog seemed to get a little tired on the second day of the race when there were already more kilometers to go. My list is much longer. Braver driving around corners and harder training for uphill driving! These are the most important, but a lot of fine-tuning in driving would need to be done.

6. The competitions had participants from all over the world, all the way from South America. Did you notice, for example, any different practices than what you are used to when competing in Finland?

The most unusual thing was seen in the dogs' behavior. Very bravely, the competitors ran the dogs freely in the competition area (even though this was forbidden).

7. What was the best thing about the race trip?

Racing! A couple of years had passed since the last value race and it felt really good to get to the starting line again. The atmosphere in the competitions was good and the arrangements worked, so yes, it was celebrated at the competition site for four days from the morning until the last finishers. The good team spirit of the Finnish national team also felt good! Everyone was encouraged both on the spot and through the live broadcast, also from home Finland!

8. How is your racing season going?

Our racing season continues with the Latvia Open world cup competition. When answering the interview, we are already in the middle of these games, the first day has been competed and the second is ahead. After these games, we will be on a break for a few weeks before we start training for the winter season.

9. Your intention is to be on the starting line again next year? Where are the World Cups then?

The IFSS World Championships are held every two years, so next year we will be competing for European Championship medals. Definitely aiming for the Games! The race venue has not yet been confirmed, but rumor has it that the race will be held in Latvia then.

Happy team at the goal! This is good to continue!

If you didn't read Tanja's blog about World Cup preparation, you can find it here: Luge World Championships 2019, part 1.
You can continue to follow the work of Tanja and the B-team e.g. From Insta accounts: @vedonvoimaa and

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