She may only measure 1.56m (5’1”) in height, but she likes to compensate for this in a unique way, by using the top step of a podium to help her!
Irina “Ira” Kalentieva is head and shoulders above her competitors. A World Champion, she has been with the Topeak Ergon Racing Team for several years and many successes, and left the Team in 2013.
Travelling around with the World Cup, and the success of the Olympics all serve to enrich her outlook and will to win. It makes her special, and yet approachable.
Known as one of the most open and natural characters on the circuit you are more likely to be greeted with a charming giggle than ignored.
On the bike when racing though, it is all very serious – but after the race, normally crowned with a podium finish, the winning smile, in every sense, is back.
Winner UCI MTB XCO World Cup Hafjell 2013 World Champion MTB XCO in 2007 and 2009 Olympic Games Beijing 2008 – Bronze Women’s XCO UCI MTB World Cup Nove Mesto 2012 – 2nd
Irina's comment on...:
“You can’t be afraid when racing. You have to just let go, and simply give everything that you have”