Photo: Bruce Buckley
Caroline Mani kicked off her 2021 cyclocross season with a bang scoring two UCI wins at GoCross in Roanoke, Virginia. This is Caroline's first UCI event since the COVID pandemic canceled the 2020 season and hopefully a sign of some great results to come.
Two back-to-back UCI wins! How does that feel after having to take most of 2020 off?
It feels amazing. Honestly approaching this weekend of racing I was doubting my decision. Meaning I wasn’t sure if I should still be racing. I guess I still have it in me! 2020 was a really difficult year for me and I finally found the love for the sport again this year.
I’m also so excited to work with Fuji and my other sponsors.
What were the conditions like?
Of course, it was really hot and humid. The course was pretty dry and lose with a lot of punchy climbs. I always like this race and I finally was able to grab both days!
How did the races play out? Were you in the lead from the get-go or did you have to work your way up?
The first day was pretty smooth. I had to test my competition and realized I was stronger. I didn’t want to go too early so I was patient, analyzed the race, and decided to go with 2 laps to go.
The second day was a little more hectic. I was leading the race lap 2 and I dropped my chain during a bumpy downhill. I probably lost 20 seconds, so I had to be steady and chase 8 racers.
I came back to the front, recovered a little, and decided to go with 2 laps to go again. I’m learning again how to ride smoothly and read the course. It was really good practice for the next events.
These were your first UCI races on the Jari, what were your thoughts?
I guess my Jari and I are already best friends. This bike feels responsive and also pretty compliant! Just the perfect combo and I’m stoked to spend the season riding it! It’s going to be exciting!
Plus I had a lot of compliments on how sexy it looks!
Next weekend is Rochester NY. It will be a perfect big test before the world cups! I can’t wait to see how it goes. First I have to treat the cold I have since a few days and be ready to go!