Peloton Watch
  Marion Borras wraps up her time as a junior with an eye on elite success  
  November 17th 2015  
  Photo: Kazakhstan Cycling Federation/UCI Junior World Championships 2015
  Marion Borras claimed the silver medal at the Junior Track World Championships in Astana in August. Having earlier taken silver at the European Championships following gold at the French Championships.

As the only French female representative Borras also lined up in the omnium finishing fifth following a quick turn around from the individual pursuit.

In a sign of her ability to make a smooth transition to the elite ranks, Borras qualified fastest in the individual pursuit at the elite French Championships in 3:41.796. Before claiming silver to Elise Delzenne, who would go on to take silver at the European Championships.

With no offers to turn professional, Borras will remain with he club team as she eyes French Cup races on the road and continuing to develop on the track as she steps up to the elite ranks.

PelotonWatch: How did you start cycling and how old were you?

Marion Borras: I started cycling completely by chance in 2007. I was seven years old and everyone in my family was doing cycling. My father did athletics and my mother was skiing.

After one training and one competition, I decided to continue this sport that I love. Firstly I was doing cyclo-cross and road and in 2010, I started track. At the beginning, I was really scared and I didn't want to keep on. But after training after training, I had discovered a real pleasure to this other part of cycling.

PW: Three French titles and European Championship silver in the IP and bronze in the omnium. Did these results give you confidence ahead of the Junior World Championships?

MB: I had two months without racing in May and June. That was not easy to keep my motivation when it didn't work, so I wasn't really reassured before French Championships. Those three titles gave me a new motivation before European Championships, which was only one week later.

In Athens, I didn't know what was my level compared with other girls. I only gave my best and results came after. I was more confident for the Junior World Championship but I didn't forget the girls from other parts of the world would be there as well.

PW: Silver medal in the individual pursuit at the World Championships. What does it mean to you?

MB: I have mixed feelings. A part of me is happy because to be one of the best at international level is awesome. But the other part is disappointed. I finished second by only four tenths so that is really frustrating. I often replay the race in my head searching where I did something wrong or what mistake I made. I can't be really completely satisfied to finish second, so near to the title.

More than that, I had problems with my bikes. They arrived only the morning of my individual pursuit. Before, I did training sessions on the bike of one of the French men's team. So when I took the start, I actually had never rolled with my mind on Astana's track. That's not an excuse of course, but that was an additional stress during the week and I think it had a little influence on my performance.

PW: Also finished fifth in the Omnium. Happy with your performance over the six events?

MB: That was a little bit complicated to be concentrated the next morning after my individual pursuit because, there, I was really happy and excited after my podium.

The first day was bad. I had no good results and no good legs. I was eighth after three races. But the second day was better. My last chance to climb on to the podium was to take a lap during the points race. I tried but there was nothing to I could do, the other girls came back every time. So I did sprints and I finally recovered and finished in fifth place. When I look at it I think that it was a good championship but it could have been better.

PW: Also competed at the Road World Championships. Finished 18th in the time trial and 55th in the road race. How did the racing go for you?

MB: We were coming only three days before the individual time trial and I think my legs didn't like the jetlag. I liked the circuit a lot but when I pushed up on pedals, nothing answered.

During the road race, my feelings were better. I had to roll for other girls of my team during the first part of the race. I think I had accomplished my job correctly. The second part was hard and I finished the race. That was a good experience. People were kind and friendly and we really liked it in America. I will keep good memories of this Championship even if the results weren't as good as I would have liked.

PW: Qualified fastest in the IP at the Elite French National Championships with a time of 3:41.796. First time racing a 3km IP? Happy with your qualifying ride?

MB: Yes, that was the first time I had do 3km on individual pursuit. I didn't do track since the Junior Track World Championships because of preparing for the Road Worlds. I didn't have any targets with times or to go for a lap. I just took to the start without thinking, trying to be consistent and go as fast as possible. I was really surprised and happy to qualify fastest.

PW: Couldn't quite back up that time in the final but claimed silver in 3:42.654. Strong start to racing at elite level?

MB: This second place proved to me that I can also achieve results in the individual pursuit next year. I like a lot the 3km distance, as the 2km was too short for me, I started too slow so now I will prepare myself at this new distance and we will see.

PW: Defended your Chrono des Nations win in October. Good way to finish your time as a junior with a win? What did it mean to win back to back?

MB: The Chrono des Nations was a good way to finish my season after my performance at the time trial at Junior Worlds. I had really good legs on the day. It's a circuit I love because it's long and hard. TO win twice there is a really satisfying for me.

PW: Will race for your club team again in 2016. Was it always your plan to remain at club level or did you consider signing for a professional team?

MB: I didn't have offers from a professional team. That's why I will stay in my club for another year. But I have a regional team with who I can do French Cup races on the road.

PW: Will you continue to split your time between the track and road?

MB: Yes I will because I love track like I love the time trial. That's two disciplines, which complement each other. That's important for me to follow with the two, as I hope it will give me a better chance to integrate in to a professional team in the future.

PW: What do you see as the biggest challenge stepping up to the elite level?

MB: I think my biggest challenge will be trying to enter the French elite team pursuit squad, and to perform at a good level in the individual pursuit, while also trying to progress in omnium. I would like to compete in the elite Championships at World and European level and also competing in World Cups too.

PW: Heading towards 2016. What are your goals for next season?

MB: My goals will be for the first part of the year, road French Cup, Under 23 European Track Championship and European Road Championship for the ITT. For the second part, we will see as the season happens but of course Elite Track season will be a goal.
 © 2016