After Pandemic-Enforced Hiatus, Marquardt Returns to Racing With Two Top 10 Finishes at UCI Nations Cup
21 May 2021
After over a year hiatus due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Team Novo Nordisk’s Mandy Marquardt returned to competition at the Tissot UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup in Hong Kong, May 13-16.
“After almost 15 months and a winter spent training on the Wattbike, it felt really good to pin a number again in Hong Kong for the UCI Track Nations Cup. My last race was the World Championships in Berlin in the beginning of March of 2020” Marquardt said.
More COVID-era challenges were faced during the long travel to Hong Kong which included two connections and a night at the Hong Kong airport. The 52-hour trip added an extra hurdle to surmount for Marquardt who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 16.
“Jet lag, stress, food circumstances all affected my blood sugars and it was a tough recovery leading into the racing,” stated Marquardt. “I managed my diabetes as best as I could.”
All teams participating in the Nations Cup needed a negative COVID test before their flight. In addition, another test was done at the airport at arrival and every day during their stay.
“I’m impressed with the Hong Kong cycling association and organizing committee for navigating the intense challenges of hosting a safe international race bubble,” Marquardt added. “We all have our own rooms, food is delivered and the only time we can leave our room is if we are going to the track. It’s quite an experience.”
Marquardt claimed two top 10 finishes in the Women’s Sprint and Women’s Keirin event.
Prior to the Nations Cup, Marquardt flew to Los Angeles from her home in Allentown, PA, to attend the USA Cycling Olympic Long Team training camp.
“It felt good to be back on the boards at the Velo Sports Center. It’s been over a year since I was last in an indoor velodrome and I couldn’t stop smiling. It was exciting to be back with the USA Cycling National Team and working with our new Sprint Coach Erin Hartwell,” Marquardt noted.
Marquardt then flew from Los Angeles to Hong Kong with the USA Cycling team.
After a few rest days following the extensive travel and racing in a short period, Marquardt will be back to training and focusing on the next competition.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of UCI Nations Cup