Title fights in France: Hinze no longer the hunted after World Cup bronze

Somehow Emma Hinze seemed a little relieved when the Marseillaise sounded in the confetti rain - quite unusual - and the German track bike queen was not on the top podium.

Title fights in France: Hinze no longer the hunted after World Cup bronze

Somehow Emma Hinze seemed a little relieved when the Marseillaise sounded in the confetti rain - quite unusual - and the German track bike queen was not on the top podium.

"It's a fact that it's mentally exhausting when you're always the hunted," said Hinze after she was dethroned by Frenchwoman Mathilde Gros in the supreme discipline sprint on the Olympic track in Paris 2024. She wanted to free herself from all constraints. "I don't have to do anything, I just have to have fun."

After two World Cup titles, the Champions League and the European Championship triumph in Munich, Hinze was able to win the bronze medal this time. Team colleague Lea Sophie Friedrich took silver, but could not beat the crowd carried by 5000 French. "It's a little foretaste of Paris," said Friedrich, who was proud of silver in the end, even "if I still lack this title".

Vogel: "You fall to get up again"

Maybe it was an instructive evening for Hinze and Co. on what could happen to them at the Olympics. "It's better to go wrong in the dress rehearsal and things are going well at the Olympics. We could live with that. You fall to get up again," said record world champion Kristina Vogel of the German Press Agency and knows from her own experience how great the pressure is The hunted is: "It's super difficult to deal with the pressure. Looking back, I can say that I was a mental wreck here and there. I didn't show it to the outside, but inside I was a scaredy-cat. In the semifinals everyone nervous."

Hinze showed how heavy the burden is, always going into the race as a favorite: "I've always driven to the final for two years. I'm already noticing it a bit. A break would be quite good too. I know that it was a hard road for me and I had a lot of races."

A break is still unthinkable, this Saturday Hinze and Friedrich will continue in the 500-meter time trial in the Velodrome of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. And on Sunday the Keirin competition follows. "I hope that Emma and Lea will find their strength again and get strong in their heads again. It's in their legs, you just have to be able to retrieve it."

WM-Homepage Federation of German Cyclists World Cycling Association

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