28th in the world is Well Bastard Fast…
Monika is no stranger to the World stage, racing to 10th in the Junior Track World Championship in Mexico in 2007. After winning a MTB frame in a raffle, a love for DH and a successful racing career followed. Following a string of notable results combined with her pink hair and passion for the sport, we couldn’t help but notice and sign her up to the Stif Race Team. As a Team Rider she won the UK DH Nationals and has had successful campaign in the Elites ever since.
This year the Czech Cycling Federation also noticed Monika’s talent and offered her the chance to represent her country, the Czech Republic, at the 2022 DHI World Championship in Les Gets, where she placed 28th in the world.
Even a gruelling work schedule, travelling Europe with the BMW World Superbike Team she has remained committed and focused on her riding, training and racing. Her passion is an inspiration and we are enormously proud of what she has achieved whilst wearing our (and the Czech Republic’s) jersey...
Representing her country wasn’t the only first she would experience this season. She also raced her first World Cup, which for Monika was the most memorable moment of 2022 and it just so happened to be on home soil, at Fort William.
“Fort William was my first ever World Cup, I qualified 21st and started the run with no expectations at all, but I actually had 13th speed trap, 2 splits in P17 and the last split was P15. I was super happy with that result and my achievements throughout the season given my limited time I can dedicate to riding and training.”
In October 2021 Monika started working for the BMW World Superbike Team, a dream job, but the World Superbike race calendar isn’t the best working schedule when also racing Mountain Bikes at the highest level both nationally and internationally.
“It really became an issue as I did 10 World Superbike races in Europe and couldn’t ride my bike or train for long periods of time. I also had Covid in November and only slowly recovered by the start of January 2022. I knew my work race calendar was very intense once the season started, so all I could do was to be mentally ready to only train until 14th of March before going away and accepting the reality of not being able to have any physical preparation for the rest of the season.”
Taking this into account, what she has been able to achieve this season is nothing short of amazing. For 2022 Monika has been riding a Santa Cruz V10 MX in a stock build, with a few modifications. These included carbon Reserve DH wheels with Cushcore inserts front and rear for peace of mind in gnarly square edge rock gardens like those found on the Fort William track. A racer will always look for those marginal gains and Monika is no different, so her suspension was upgraded to a Fox 40 Factory fork and Fox Factory DHX2 coil shock, enabling her to fine tune her suspension to each track and the ever changing conditions over the racing weekend. All that speed has to be in check (sometimes) so an upgrade to SRAM Code RSC brakes front and rear allowing her to brake later and harder.
After some issues with her hands at Fort William, her bars were swapped out from 35mm to 31.8 clamp bars which added additional compliance to the front of the bike, reducing fatigue at race speed over long tracks.
After riding her V10 in the early race season, Monika really felt the benefits of the MX wheel format straightaway, the extra agility and acceleration of the smaller rear wheel really suited her style of riding, it therefore seemed like the logical step to have her enduro race bike in the same format, carrying over the benefits between the tape and eliminating the need to recalibrate her riding style when switching between the two bikes.
Like Matt, Monika is extremely dedicated to her racing, when this is combined with a hectic work schedule it leaves very little time for any thing else. However she does an excellent job of striking a balance in life and getting some down time with the emphasis on fun. She spends a lot of time with her Border Collie, Ronnie who, in her words is a “nutter’ and another “nutter”, her partner Mike, arranging lots of Summertime BBQs and house parties with friends.
Downtime for Monika isn’t all chill, most weekends when she’s not between the tapes she can be found aboard her Motocross bike or more recently her Moto Trials bike having just taken up the sport for a little bit of fun and functional cross training.
Monika has moved on to a new job and now hopes to have more free time to dedicate to a structured approach to her training. She’s already hitting the gym and putting the trail miles on her Roubion to build a big Winter base ahead of the 2023 season where her plans include racing enduro on the UK scene and competing in more international world cups. With this considered we’re sure with her passion, commitment and ability 2023 is sure to be very exciting indeed!