In the saddle

XCO rider Georg Egger’s on how he sees his future successes.

He lives in Obergessertshausen, a small village near Augsburg in Southern Germany. This is where he gets in the saddle to ride out and blaze trails all over the MTB world. Georg Egger is double German U23 cross country champion. At the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow (GB) and again in 2019 in Brno (CZ) he came ninth. And now he’s preparing for his next career highlights.

Pushing your limits

What’s so good about being paid to push yourself? “I enjoy training at my physical limit, it’s something I benefit from a lot,” says Georg. “Knowing what you are capable of makes you feel good, and not just when you’re in the saddle. This feeling stays with you, wherever you are. It gives you energy, including for everyday life.”

“The good feeling stays with you, wherever you are.”

In addition, there’s the atmosphere at the races, the adrenalin, the competitive spirit. These are emotions that you soak up and absorb, says Georg. “No matter what your sporting ambitions, it’s important not to forget that riding an MTB trail in beautiful natural surroundings is an amazing experience.”

More fun means more speed

Georg loves the combination of endurance, technical skills and tactics that can make the difference between success and failure in cross country, where the races last around 1 hour 30 minutes. The important thing to remember: “More fun means more speed! You have to want it though. I’ve never done well in a race where I didn’t go in with a positive attitude.”

“In winter, I visualise my highlights.”

What about if you find that you not enjoying things? After all, as a professional racer you’re under big pressure to be at the front of the field. “During the winter, I try to prepare myself mentally for the coming season by visualising my highlights, I picture the most important races in my mind. These images help me to remain focussed and motivated over the weeks and months as I work towards my goals.

It’s okay to get beaten

What about when it doesn’t work out? When those pictures in your head don’t become reality? “These things happen. And that’s okay,” feels Georg. “You might ride the perfect race, but find that another rider is simply better than you. You might have a technical failure. The important thing is to make sure that you are really well prepared and to have a great weekend. I just take everything else as it comes.”

“You win. Or you learn.”

Having this attitude gives you freedom and room to manoeuvre. You carry your wins with you. “And if get beaten or suffer a setback, then I try to learn from it to be better next time. At the end of the day, it’s simple really: You win. Or you learn. This is how you get better. You build self-confidence. And you get yourself ready for your next success.”