by Christine Vardaros
A mainstay in the Belgium cyclocross scene, 31 year old Pavla Havlikova (Telenet-Fidea), heads back to Czech Republic to battle for the national title to be held this Saturday in Milovice. Havlikova’s greatest challenges come from USA-based Katerina Nash (Luna Pro) and 21 year old Martina Mikulaskova.
Havlikova may have lost to Mikulaskova last year, but this time around Havlikova feels completely prepared to take victory. “I am satisfied with this season because it I’ve improved from last year. This season I’ve been more steady with my results due to a higher basic fitness.” Backing up her words are solid results. She placed second at the European Championships a month ago, is now a steady top 10 rider and climbed up to 11th on the UCI ranking. If the Nationals course has some running and technical bits, she will be a very happy gal.
Moving past Nationals, Havlikova adds, “Now if I could take just a tiny step higher I’ll start landing on the podium. After finishing so many times in fourth or fifth, I’m ready for it. It’s so close I can taste it.” As she is Belgium-based in the winter, she’ll have many more opportunities to realize her dream considering her season ends the last week in February.