Photo Credit Kike Abelleira
Photo credit Kike Abelleira
Starting from the physical similarity, there are several aspects that Anita and Caro Gehrig, the Swiss twins professional mountain bike riders who race for Norco Twins Racing Team, have in common. The enthusiasm they transmit in making their passion into a job; the temperament with which they deal with a purely male sport; the smile and the solarity; the complicity of two sisters accustomed to train “always together!”; the awareness of two young women, born in 1987, that taking part in international enduro mountain bike competitions also means being able to travel, learn about new cultures, visit different countries, as well as discover new trails.
Anita and Caro are in Finale for a few days “Flims (where they live, ed) is in full on winter mode so it’s hard to ride at home at the moment that’s why we choose to come to Finale for a few days of good training. Conditions for riding are always so good in Finale, it is close from home, four hours driving. And here, at the sea, perfect trail conditions and you can ride all year around, the shuttles…everything is perfect!”. When I meet them, they have just finished tasting the inevitable “gelato” at the end of a day of riding in the Finale area.
What is the thing you like most of Finale, gelato aside!
[Anita] “Actually the people, now since we come here again and again we know many people and they are so friendly and helpful. And then the mountains and the sea: it’s just a perfect combination. By the way gelato, gelato, bikes (making a list and laughing)”.
[Caro] “People here are super supportive. It’s just nice to come back and see same faces again, they actually stay behind us if you are racing here, especially when you have EWS. Before we had the EWS in Zermatt, Switzerland we always said Finale was basically our EWS home race. The closest race from home and the place where we spend the most time and know a lot of people”.
Did you notice an evolution here in Finale in mountain bike all over the years?
[Anita] “Definitely, so much improved and we like it so much. The whole town is now behind biking: you can see it all over the places…so many new trails even now with the addiction of Pietra Ligure. So good and we had so much fun, we were there this morning. It’s good you can have both, because it’s a different riding terrain. Very fun!”.
[Caro] “There is a huge variety that makes Finale a special place. You’ve got alpine trails, almost like on the Pietra side and a huge variety of super technical, rocky trails to flowy singletrails …so it’s good!
I’ve read on your website “Mountain biking is not just racing to us, it’s our way of life”. How did this passion start? In the same time for both?
[Anita] “Pretty much. I even bought her the first mountain bike because I had the money to buy already myself a bike and she didn’t. So, there was no questions, we had to do it together. So I bought her a bike” (laughing).
[Caro] “We enjoy so much to just ride, to have fun with friends or go places. It’s not only the races for us, but the race is extra spice”.
Anita can you tell me a strenght and a weakness of Caro. Caro can you tell me a strenght and weakness of Anita.
[Anita] “She can jump better than I, or not the jumping skill in self but commitment you need for a big jump. For me it’s like “Ok, I’m gonna die or something…’and Caro says, ‘ok I’m gonna do it now’. While me I wait and I say ‘ok, maybe I will do it, maybe later. Caro is a little bit, I don’t know…braver. And her weakness: she is too impatient. Sometimes she’s like when you have to do chest moves, Caro is like…she wants to do things very very fast”.
[Caro] “Anita is just a really good rider and even better racer, like when she comes to race she can do her game so much and she always performed. And the weakness is that I have always to carry around her things that she forgets somewhere!”.
Photo credit Like Abelleira
Photo credit Kike Abelleira
What will be your first enduro race of this year?
[Anita] “By first we do some Winter Trophy races here in Liguria and then we start with EWS race in Colombia (EWS Manizales on 28 and 29 March, ed). We are super excited for that because we have already been there and it was so far our best travel experience. Because it’s just a wonderful country: you know the animals, the plants…everything is so different and it’s very cool to see it, for sure. So we are excited to go back”.
You represented Swiss Team in EWS Trophy of Nations (with Carina Cappellari, ed), last September here in Finale, how it has been to race as a team?
[Anita] “It was a good experience because it takes off the pressure of your solo performance. You have to work as a team and make the best out of it, so it has been a really cool experience and we could share it with our good friend as a team member, so we had a good time and it was cool because all the racers really enjoyed it because it was something different”.
[Caro] “It was nice how the town also included the country houses and parade and everything, they were proud to host us”.
[Anita] “For us still it would be out to make cool to have a single world title and not a team. But it’s a really cool format”.