The last preparations before Dakar 2018

My stories / 27. December 2017

Each year Števo has to undergo fitness training for the Dakar in the High Tatras. This year he decided that apart from the one-week training, he would go to the Tatras regularly to try and gain the maximum advantage from the mountain environment.

“There are two main reasons I go to the High Tatras to train. The snow is a guarantee so I can go alpine skiing. The second reason is that I can go up to 2,100 meters above the sea level which is very important for me as an athlete. The elevation during the Bolivian part of the Dakar is 3,500 meters above the sea level.”

Lots of athletes seek out the High Tatras because of the thinner air. It takes a lot more effort in these conditions for the athlete to go through his regular routine.

“I also do coordination exercises in the High Tatras where I try and strengthen my inner muscles and practice balance. I went through this training regularly twice a week. Since I was commuting, I had to get up at 5 am. Riding a bike is largely about balance, and therefore it is important for me to do these kinds of training.”

In the last two months before the Dakar, Števo practiced especially rigorously. When he was at home, he would ride the bike three days a week, and he would use the rest of the week to do his fitness training.

“I usually practice eight-kilometer rounds on time. I have a stopwatch on my bike where I see the time after each round so I can see right away if I made a mistake or not. I always try to do my best and push my limits.”

Števo undergoes this type of training regularly at home, but one week before his departure for the Dakar he decided to go riding in Zadar, Croatia.

“During the three days in Croatia, I practiced each day twice a day in one hour intervals. It was a different environment and surface that I had to get used to which helped me again during my preparation. The surface often changes during the Dakar race, and I have to be able to react quickly to the change.”

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