The ability to negotiate bumps, jumps and corners is crucial for any top skier, and on Thursday Switzerlandâs top women skiers worked on these skills... at the World Cycling Centreâs BMX Supercross track.
Swapping skis for BMX bikes, eight of the Swiss national selection took to the track for a training session that combined physical strength and technical skill.
Dominique Gisin, who has seven World Cup podiums to her name, including three wins, was delighted by the experience: âItâs fun but tiring at the same time. When youâre having fun, you donât feel how much energy it takes. Itâs really good training. You have to push and pull to get energy out of the elevations. Itâs all about timing.â
Physical conditioning coach Luca De Marchi said the athletes did not take the training session lightly: âThey were very happy when they heard they would be doing this but also respectful. We watch BMX at the Olympic Games! They are working the same things as in skiing and find some of the same sensations. There are certain passages where they really have to concentrate and overcome their fear.â
During three days at the World Cycling Centre, the athletes are also working on their physical condition and strength in the Centreâs gym. Although this was their first initiation into BMX, they are no strangers to the sport of cycling: they covered some 700km during a week-long training camp in Majorca in May.
For Dominique Gisin, the importance of BMX goes beyond sport at an Elite level: âI think all freestyle sports are underrated. They are so important to get young people into sport.â
Photo: Dominique Gisin ready for training on the BMX Supercross track at the World Cycling Centre