Interview: Marine Cabirou on Her First World Cup Wins and Her Plans for the New Race Season
After taking her first Elite World Cup win in Val di Sole Marine Cabirou then went on to another two World Cup victories and a bronze medal at the World Championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne. We caught up with Marine to talk about lockdown and her incredible 2019 season.
How was your training going this year?
I had a good offseason but things are a bit complicated because we are locked down at the moment so we are doing home training and gym sessions but it’s complicated because I can’t ride.
How are you keeping everything going through lockdown?
Yeah, actually for two months we have been on lockdown, it’s been a really long time and hard for me. From next week we should be good to go and ride outside.
What’s going to be your first ride?
I think I will ride my downhill bike.
2019 was obviously a really good year for you, was the plan to repeat this in 2020?
Yeah, I had a really good season last year and I’m really happy with that season. My plans are a little bit the same, to stay on the top of the box and after winning the last three World Cups I now want to win more races.
Last year was also your first season with Scott, how was it?
I had a really good year with Scott. After the World Cups, I have been working in the winter with Ben Walker andwe have been doing a lot with the team and working on the new bike. All the team are really dedicated at the World Cup and they have been really good as a sponsor, Scott are really happy with the new team, it’s a really good thing.
You took your first Elite World Cup win in Val di Sole last year, what was that race like for you?
It was a really good race for me. I felt a bit that it was like the perfect race run you know. I just did a little mistake in the middle of my race run but I still focused and I pushed hard. I love this track, the type of track that’s really steep and technical. Everything was so good for me.
Did you think going into the race that you wanted to win?
Yeah, you know this track is one of the best for me, or has been for me. To take my first win here makes me very happy because it’s just one of the most difficult tracks of the year.
The next in Lenzerheide also went well for you when you took another first place, was it a great feeling to get two wins in a row?
Yeah, it was really difficult in Lenzerheide because the race was really close with Tracey. I had made many mistakes with the rain and everything on the track, I’m not sure that on my run it would be good to take the win but I won and in the same second as Tracey, it was just crazy for me.
Was it any easier to focus on your second win once you had already won before?
Ah, it’s a bit difficult because I had a little bit more pressure because I know I can win and everybody wants to win. But yes, of course, it is better because in your head you know you can win so it’s easier to win once you already know that you can do it.
The next race was the World Championships at Mont-Sainte-Anne, what were your expectations after winning two races in a row?
Yeah, I didn’t have a really good World Championships because I had a lot of pressure on my shoulders and everybody was telling me ‘ah you’re going to win’ and everything. I think with all of the pressure I made many mistakes in my race run and I didn’t have a good feeling on my bike. I would push but every time there was some mistake. I’m really not satisfied with my race run but I am close to the win. It’s not too bad but I was still not happy with the race.
Did coming away from the World Championships with a bronze medal give you any focus for the last race in Snowshoe?
Yeah, it’s also a good feeling because it was my first podium finish at the World Championships. I took a lot from the experience which should be good for the next one. I was really hungry after the World Championships and I wanted to end the season on a good one.
How were you feeling before the final race in Snowshoe?
I was feeling really confident because after a shit race before in Mont-Sainte-Anne I knew if I have one chance to win the overall I want to win this race. I had a really good feeling on this track and I was just happy to take the win again.
Some people struggled with the track, did you have any trouble with it?
The track was difficult because you had a lot of rocks and a lot of jumps. It was a really technical but a bit flat at the same time. I loved all of the jumps. I’m a little bit crazy on these kind of things so it was good for me.
The overall came so close between you and Tracey, was the last race more stressful with the extra pressure?
The overall was so close, but Tracey had more pressure on her than me because she was first and she couldn’t make a mistake because I was really close behind her. For me it was wasn’t that bad and I just had to ride my bike my best. Tracey, she needed to be 6th or 7th to be behind me, it’s a game and I didn’t get it this time, we will have to see next year.
Was it hard waiting at the bottom for Tracey to finish her run?
I was happy to take the win on this race, but a bit sad because we were really close in points for the overall. But it’s a good feeling when you win and with Pompom and Tahnee back it was good.
How was it to finish the 2019 season with three World Cup wins?
It was really good because my goal was to take at least one World Cup win last year but I won three World Cups so it was amazing for me. It really gave me a lot of confidence for the next season.
If your goal was one win last year what is your goal for this year’s racing?
Now I know I can win a World Cup my goal will be always to aim for the series win but we will see what happens.
It looks like this season is going to see races bunched together does this change up the way you approach racing?
Yeah, it’s a bit strange because they say maybe we will start in September but I dunno if everybody can come and be in the same place. I dunno what will happen. That don’t really change for me, I just stay focus on my goal.
Is it quite hard to have finished last year strongly and then now be stuck not knowing what is happening?
Yeah, I’m very much waiting for the new season and I just want to ride my bike and be outside. Yeah, I think it was going to be a good season for me before everything happened as we had a good offseason and testing went well. I was really ready for Lousa and the season to begin.
How do you keep motivated with your training?
It’s a bit strange because we are on lockdown at home so it’s a bit complicated to stay motivated and everything. But my trainer has kept up my planning so we are training to do something every day. But yeah it’s going to be good to know when it’s all going to get started.
France has had quite a strict lockdown do you think this puts the French riders at any disadvantage?
Yeah, I think a bit because we haven’t been able to ride our bike or get as much testing done but we maybe have three months before the first World Cup so we have a bit of time to do some of the testing and riding our bike. Basically getting everything ready for the season start. But yes we are definitely at a disadvantage.
What are your plans for the future?
I will go ride my bikes, my road bike, my downhill bike and everything. Also, I will do some testing with the team, although it’s a bit of a strange situation in France because you can’t have more than ten people in the same place so it gets a bit complicated. But after that, we will do some testing.https://www.pinkbike.com/news/interview-marine-cabirou-on-her-first-world-cup-wins-and-her-plans-for-the-new-race-season.html?trk=rss