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September 1/15 15:36 pm - Mountain Bike Worlds: Indergand and Federspiel Claim First Gold


Posted by Editoress on 09/1/15
 

The 26th edition of the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships opened on Tuesday in Vallnord, Andorra, with the exciting Eliminator.  Switzerland opened the championships with a win, when last year's silver medalist, Linda Indergand, stepped up to the top step of the podium, followed a few minutes later by Daniel Federspiel (Austria) for the men.  Canada had no entries.

Sixteen women qualified for head-to-head racing after a time trial earlier in the day.  Starting with the quarter-finals, they raced in heats of four riders at a time, with the top-2 moving on to the next round, until there were only four left to race for the final.  It was critical on the 900 metre circuit to get the front position before a series of zig-zag turns leading into a singletrack wooded section.  A steep climb out of the woods onto the finishing straight left a final opportunity for a fast finisher to possibly move up before the line.

 

Competition was unexpectedly put on hold for over an hour, when the main generator blew after just one quarter final heat.  It powered the television broadcast, timing, announcement system and the pits, and everything was shut down while a new generator was rushed into position.

 

PHOTO

Ingrid Boe Jacobsen (Norway)

 

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Start of the Big final, with 3 Swiss riders

 

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Linda Indergand wins

 

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Ingrid Boe Jacobsen, Linda Indergand, Kathrin Stirnemann


Photo gallery

 

Switzerland dominated, once competition resumed, taking three of the four positions for the final - Indergand, defending champion Kathrin Stirnemann and Ramona Forchini, with Ingrid Boe Jacobsen (Norway) grabbing the last spot.  In the final, Indergand took the lead into the first corner and opened a sizable gap up the final climb, to cruise to the line.  Boe Jacobsen's final 100 metre sprint just put her in front of Stirnemann for the silver medal, spoiling a Swiss 1-2.

"It felt like I was flying," stated Indergand, "but it was a really tough one. The start was really hard, and then it's overwhelming me now.  Really crazy.  Three Swiss in the final and that's great.  For the sprint you really have some luck, and today was my lucky day. This time I have a bit more luck [after finishing second last year]."

In the men's competition, Daniel Federspiel finally got the one title missing from his collection - Eliminator world champion.  Winner of multiple World Cups, the World Cup overall title and the European title, Federspiel had previously missed out on the rainbow stripes, and he was ecstatic with his win.

The men's field had possibly the greatest depth in the short history of the discipline, with all of the previous world champions on hand - Ralph Naef (Switzerland), Paul van der Ploeg (Australia) and defending champion Fabrice Mels (Belgium).  None of them would make the final, showing how strong the competition was.

Thirty two men qualified for head-to-head racing after a time trial earlier in the day.  Starting with the eighth-finals, they raced in heats of four riders at a time, with the top-2 moving on to the next round, until there were only four left to race for the final.  It was critical on the 900 metre circuit to get the front position before a series of zig-zag turns leading into a singletrack wooded section.  A steep climb out of the woods onto the finishing straight left a final opportunity for a fast finisher to possibly move up before the line.

Competition was unexpectedly put on hold for over an hour, when the main generator blew after just one quarter final heat.  It powered the television broadcast, timing, announcement system and the pits, and everything was shut down while a new generator was rushed into position.

Once competition resumed, there was another short hold, after van der Ploeg went out in a serious crash, hitting a tree.  The Australian was taken out on a backboard and then airlifted to hospital.  There is no word yet on his condition.

 

PHOTO

Samuel Gaze (New Zealand)

 

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Start of the Big final

 

 

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Daniel Federspiel takes the win and bounces across the line

 

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Samuel Gaze, Daniel Federspiel, Simon Gegenheimer


Photo Gallery

 

In the final, Federspiel was joined by Samuel Gaze (New Zealand), Simon Gegenheimer (Germany) and Kevin Miquel (France).  The Austrian sprinted to the front in the first 100 metres and rode away from the field by the time they hit the singletrack.  Behind, Gegenheimer moved into second place, but was challenged in the final sprint by Gaze, who passed him for silver with a bike throw at the line.

"This was my goal the last three years," said an ecstatic Federspiel, "and now my dream comes true. I am so happy. This was one of my best races.  I am just so happy.  For the final my plan was that I ride in front, so I can choose my own lines. This was my favourite type of finish line, at more than 150 metres. Now I have reached my goal., I have all the titles in this discipline.  I am really happy."

"No [the power outage] did not bother me.  For every athlete it was the same.  It let me relax a little bit more."

 

Final results

Qualifying results

 


Related Photo Galleries


UCI Mountain Bike World Championships September 1/15 - September 6/15, Vallnord, Andorra

Women Eliminator
Men Eliminator
Team Relay
Junior Women XC
Junior Men XC
U23 Women XC
U23 Men XC
Elite Women XC
Elite Men XC
Jr Women DH
Jr Men DH
Elite Women DH
Elite Men DH

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