I had a much better feeling in the short track in Nove Mesto than in Albstadt, which was a confidence booster. I managed to stay safe in the pack, conserving as much energy as possible before a push on the last couple of laps to move up into 13th position and claim a second row start for the XCO.
In the cross country I stayed out of trouble on the start loop and kept within touching distance of the leaders for most of the race, with the focus being on sticking to my own tempo rather than going with every surge at the front.
With two laps to go I joined the leaders, and the fight was on for the podium spots.
Entering the last lap, we were all still together and that was when the fireworks really happened. I was unable to go with the front three riders and came into the finish line together with two others in a sprint to decide 4th, 5th and 6th positions.
I had enough left in my legs to win the sprint for 4th place and round out my best XCO performance since the Olympic Games. It was an incredible feeling to be back standing on a World Cup podium and I’m excited for the next World Cups ahead!