The Silverback OMX Pro Team rider, who recently claimed her 15th SA MTB XCO Championship title in Bloemfontein, said she was looking forward to lining up for the elite women’s cross-country race.
“I’ve had great world cup results and the SA champs was definitely a nice little confidence booster that proved to me that I’m capable of it,” said Strauss, who placed 21st at the previous world cup in Andorra.
“I was in a good mental space, so I’m just holding on to that and focusing on the race this weekend.”
Strauss added that she would love to finish in the top 15, but was aware that anything could happen in cross-country racing.
“It’s definitely my aim and I’m going to fight hard for it, but I’m not going to focus too much on that otherwise it distracts you from the actual race.
“So I’m just focusing on getting through it one lap at a time.
“It’s gruelling and technical with a lot of climbing and not so much passing space, so it will be a tight race that will present challenges.”
She said the terrain of the course, which covers about 4km, was mostly loose rocks, steep climbs, nice descents and a few jumps.
“It’s basically anything you can think of. It’s very nicely built, but the limited overtaking space will present the biggest challenge. Everything else is amazing.”
Strauss added that the biggest challenge would be to keep her “head screwed on right”, work hard, stay calm and focus on what she needed to do and do that perfectly. “Racing is challenging, but it’s nothing I haven’t done before.”
Strauss felt her form was good as she had been doing all the right training and everything else she needed to do.
“It’s getting towards the end of the season and it’s been quite a year. I’m happy with where I am and what I’ve done so far, so let’s try and finish it on a high.”