After a few promising results in the young classes, Cæcilie Christoffersen moved up to the senior Elite group in 2012. Since then she becomes one of the strongest prospects in the MTB orienteering world. Representing the new generation of athletes in this challenging and demanding discipline, the Danish displays her motivation to face the next challenges with determination and ambition.
I would start by asking you about yourself. Who is Cæcilie Christoffersen?
Cæcilie Christoffersen (C. C.) - I’m a 24 years old student, studying Human Physiology with side-subject in math. I'm interested in all kind of sports. You will always find me with some creative stuff. I like to make things by myself. I also like to be a girl with a big G - always dressed up... I admire Jolanda Neff, she is pretty cool. She really manages her bike and all the skills and technically parts at the World Cup. My motto is "A day without training is a day without meaning". I'm dependent of training. If I’m having a day without training, I’m restless!
How did MTB Orienteering come to your life? Was there a particular moment, a “click”, when you said to yourself: “That's it, MTBO is my sport!” or it was just a kind of, let's say, opportunity?
C. C. - First time I tried orienteering I was 8 years old. My mother was tired of running in the narrow streets, and tried Orienteering. And almost without realising it, we were also regularly going Orienteering. I have been running to get part of the Danish National Team until I was 20 and then I started to decide between running and biking. I started MTBO at my boarding school and that opened my eyes to a new sport. I was having some problems with my ankle, and then it got so bad that I couldn’t run and I decided to bike instead, so the bike won. Since that decision I have been training most of the days on the bike. At the start off my carrier on the bike I was thinking how it can ever be more fun than running a really technical course. I was thinking that it was too easy to ride on the tracks but I got my eyes up for the fun part about riding on tracks and control the bike under my body. So now I preferred to ride my bike.
What do you see in MTBO that makes it so special?
C. C. - The special thing about MTBO is the combination of map and bike. You have to have full control over the bike, and besides that you have to use your brain and make decisions. I think that’s what is most special about our sport.
We could see you performing quite well in France and achieving your best results in the World Cup so far. Did you expect it?
C. C. - I didn't know what I should have expected for France. I knew I was in good shape, but still I hadn’t expected these results. In the Long I didn’t make any mistakes, but in the Middle Distance I made some small mistakes, and that makes it much more exciting to see how it will be in the World Championships in Portugal.
How was your preparation in the winter season and, particularly, to this event?
C. C. - My training this winter has been quite good, quality and lots of strength training, to get a good power to my legs. My training has been structural and it has made my shape become one step higher than last year. I had planned a little peak for the World Cup, so to see these good result is a sign that I'm on the right way.
How do you rate the World Cup overall?
C. C. - The terrains were quite nice, hilly and technically in the vineyards, but I'm not satisfied with the way the French people make the map in the vineyards where it was too difficult to see the orange tracks. This was really bad mapping. I think the organisation did it well, but they could have been nice to get some more information just some days before the race. But overall I think they did it well.
The next big challenge is the World MTB Orienteering Championships. Can you feel already some good vibrations about that? (Please explain)
C. C. - I’m getting excited about the World Championships because I'm in good shape. So the butterflies in my stomach are getting bigger and bigger. I'm ready for some good races.
What kind of event are you expecting?
C. C. - I know that Portugal is used to organise big events and I know that the quality will be perfect, and I think it will be even better than the European Championships last year, which means that it will be fantastic.
Tell me, please, about your goals. Is there a particular distance where your possibilities are bigger than the others? Who will be your main adversaries?
C. C. - My goals aren't that big, I want to do it better than last year. I hate to be disappointed, so this year I have been quite realistic about my goals, hoping for top-20 placings.
How do you evaluate the current MTBO moment in your country? And worldwide?
C. C. - In our country we try to get new people to try MTBO. There are a lot of mountain bikers in Denmark but we hope to get some of them into the MTBO world and get them to love this fantastic sport. We are having good opportunities for the sport, every year there is a cup from April to October with 17 races and in the winter it's possible to get on map one time a week. I'm also coach in our club and in the summertime we are having trainings every week.
Is there a key to call people's attention on MTB Orienteering and its beauty?
C. C. - As I said earlier, it could be though MTB to MTBO.
If you had the power, would you change something in the MTB Orienteering current rules?
C. C. - Not really.
Would you like to share with us your biggest dream?
C. C. - My biggest dream is to win the World MTB Orienteering Championships in one of the distances.