Dear Sina, in 2021 you won silver at the Olympic Games and gold and bronze at the World Championships. We are still rubbing our eyes. How are you doing?
Yes, it went faster than planned. The Olympics was always my big dream. The fact that everything came together perfectly on the decisive day and that I won silver came as a surprise to me too. After this medal there was no stopping me. I had a huge boost of motivation and even more self-confidence than before. So I started inspired at the World Championships in Val di Sole.
You were able to celebrate such great successes in your third year with the elite. How do you feel?
I think very few people had me on their radar. As a newcomer, I still have a lot of respect for my competitors. Therefore, I have no reason to take off and feel like a superstar.
But the pressure and expectations have already increased?
I didn't put any pressure on myself. I had my highlights with three medals at major events and didn't have to prove anything to myself. But the expectations will certainly be different next season. I have to learn to deal with that.
How did you experience the Cape Epic in South Africa? It is considered the toughest multi-stage race in the world that you compete in as a duo.
The Cape Epic was very special for me and I'm glad I did the race. It was a great adventure that deepened my friendship with my team partner Laura Stigger. We travelled to South Africa some time before to train. We understand each other very well off the trails and trust each other blindly.
That was definitely an important part of the recipe for success. Because never before has a team won all eight sections of the course. You were also the youngest team ever to succeed in South Africa. How did that happen?
The Specialized team was perfectly prepared and we had a lot of support. The team set-up was perfect. An anecdote: There were people next to the track who told us that we should let the competition win at least one stage. But we didn't travel to the desert to hand out presents (laughs).
If you had to name a personal highlight, what would it be?
Difficult. I'm wavering between Olympic silver and the world championship title in short track.
Why those two in particular?
The Olympics only take place every four years and the emotions when crossing the finish line were indescribable. The short track title at the World Championships because I managed a daring overtaking manoeuvre on the last lap. I drove totally at the limit and risked everything.
What went through your mind when you crossed the finish line at the Olympics?
An intense feeling of happiness and a huge relief at the same time. The fact that I was able to share these emotions with my teammates was the crowning glory. Not only did we win Olympic medals, but we also wrote a new chapter in Swiss sporting history. I needed some time to realise this.
There are always athletes who fall into an emotional hole after such a great success. Do you know this feeling?
Fortunately not. Quite the opposite. I was even more motivated than before. I already saw the next goals, like the World Championships, and didn't have any time to think.
What are your next goals?
World Cup victories, a podium place in the overall World Cup or the World Championships next year. I'm still young and I won't run out of goals anytime soon.
Is the Swiss Epic Graubünden 2022 a topic for you?
I can't say yet, but as it looks, probably not. But I will return at some point, I promise. Because I still have a score to settle with the Swiss Epic Graubünden. In 2020 I had to give up after the first stage due to injury. I can't let that stand (laughs).
The partnership with Davos Klosters has been running since 1 June 2021. Before that, you were already a regular guest here. What brought you here again and again?
The answer is simple: it's the varied and natural single trails that make Davos Klosters so exciting for mountain bikers. What's more, the trails are always in impeccable condition. And then there are the memories: Even as a child, I regularly went to Davos Klosters with my parents. That connects emotionally. That's why I can't imagine a better training area.
Did Davos Klosters play a role in your most successful season to date?
Definitely. I did part of my season preparation here. The varied trails were very motivating and I was able to prepare myself for different conditions in the training sessions. I had a lot of fun - and fun is one of the most important training factors, especially in biking.
Your secret trail tip in Davos Klosters?
Alps Epic Trail Davos. Unfortunately, it's no longer an insider tip. Seriously, this trail is really unique. Definitely one of the most beautiful single trails the Alps have to offer.
What makes it so special?
At around 40 kilometres, it is very long and the panorama on the way from Jakobshorn to Filisur is unique. The Alps Epic Trail Davos is a one hundred percent mountain bike trail with everything it needs: Roots, stones and curves. It also combines the beauty of nature with mountain biking. Just the way I love it!
A theme in the mountains is the co-existence between hikers and bikers - how do you perceive this?
I think it's good that in Graubünden mountain bikers are allowed to use the hiking trails. If both parties show consideration and we bikers slow down and add a friendly "Grüezi", the hikers appreciate that. That's been my experience.
Have you had any negative experiences?
That has happened - but as long as I am friendly and considerate myself, I don't have to be reproached.
Are you sometimes recognised on the trails?
From time to time. Most of the time people cheer me on with a "Hop!
How much time do you spend in Davos Klosters?
Whenever possible. Provided the weather cooperates and there is no snow. And in between during the race breaks. Davos Klosters is not only an ideal training base for me, but also a place to recharge my batteries.
Finally: E-bikes are becoming more and more popular. What is your opinion as a professional mountain biker?
Honestly? I have one too. I find an e-bike practical when I want to go for a leisurely ride in the evening. I can cover twice the distance in the same amount of time. By the way, the training effect is not absent on an e-bike.