Evita Muzic: My dream is to become world champion one day

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Talented climber Evita Muzic aspires to one day wear rainbow stripes.

The 23-year-old, who rides for FDJ-Suez-Futuroscope, is becoming one of the best stars in the peloton. She had a breakthrough season in 2020 with a stage victory at the Giro d’Italia Donne and won the prestigious French national road race title last season.

After another milestone this year, Muzic wants to continue its steady progress under the leadership of team leaders Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Marta Cavalli. Among her hopes for the future are that legendary rainbow jersey and a full tilt to the Tour de France Women’s yellow jersey with Zwift.

“I want to do the best I can, but my dream is to become world champion one day. I don’t know if I will be able to do it, but I will do everything I can to do it,” Muzic said. BikeNews. “I would also like maybe to be the team leader in a stage race like the Tour because I’m French in the France team so the Tour is more special. But now I’m just learning with Cecilie and Marta and I try to be a little more like them every year.

Read also : Evita Muzic returns to her roots with a return to cyclocross

Muzic grew up with the FDJ team and is one of the few riders to have seen it grow from a French development team to one of the best women’s teams in the world. She joined in 2018 shortly after FDJ’s investment and has stepped up each season, as has the team.

“I’ve seen the difference when I start, like, I don’t have a salary, and there’s really only one or two staff for the team,” she said. “When you start a competition, you want to win and, before, we just wanted to finish in the points. I think a lot of things have changed now. The team trusts me, and I trust them. We still have many years to do good.

She has three more years to ‘do good’ to be precise after extending her contract with the team until 2025 earlier in June. The new contract follows a very solid season for Muzic with victory at the Alpes Gresivaudan Classic, second place overall at the Vuelta a Burgos and eighth place overall in the Tour de France Women.

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However, the year didn’t start so well as she had to sit out early season races as she recovered from a knee injury she picked up on the final stage of the Women’s Tour. last October. She immediately entered her off-season and thought she had recovered from the fall, but realized there was something wrong when she started training again for the new season.

“It was tough mentally,” Muzic said. “Normally I take a four week break but when I started again I had pain in my knee but nobody could find out what the problem was with my knee. I kept riding until December I was just sometimes doing 30 minutes on the trainer, and it wasn’t better. So, I do a lot of exams, and finally, we just find the problem in January.

“I had the operation in January. I think I wasted two months trying to find the problem. It was hard not knowing what the problem was, but it was better after finding it. I know that I have a Tour de France objective, and I have time to come back to it. It helped me a lot during the winter.

The hard work paid off and she had one of her best Tour de France results of the year, finishing in eighth place just behind teammate Uttrup Ludwig in seventh place. She had started the race in a supporting role but, although she still had to work for Uttrup Ludwig, she was given more responsibility after Cavalli crashed on stage two.

The moment was all the more special as the arrival at the Planche des Belles Filles was far from where she grew up in Lons-le-Saunier. Large crowds gathered for her on the final stage, many wearing t-shirts with her face on them, thanks to her father.

“It was hard to be able to be in shape [after the knee injury], but also that to motivate me, and I was happy to be there because it was close to my house and my family and friends came,” she said. “It ended well for me. I had no goal [finishing] place, but finishing seventh and eighth overall was good.

“My dad brought a lot of people with a big bus and he made a lot of t-shirts and flags and everything. I also have a bit of pressure to finish the Tour because I know they were coming on the last day so I don’t want to crash or have Covid before something like that.

“The last day was an exceptional day for me. I wanted to do better, but it was the last day so you know you’re going to finish, and I knew I would have all my family and friends, so it was very special. I will remember this day all my life. »

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