UCI Mountain Bike World Cup: New winners for round 5 of Eliminator World Cup
Jenny Rissveds (Scott-Odlo) took her first win of the season in the women’s race, while Catries Andres Soto (MMR Bikes) took the first ever Argentine win for the men. The World Cup leaders kept their jerseys, with Kathrin Stirnemann (Sabine Spitz Haibike) holding the women’s overall lead and Fabrice Mels (Salcano Alanya) the men’s.
Held on a rolling grassy course that featured plenty of climbing for the first half and a long descent to the finish, the key tactic was to hit the top of the climb in either first or second place, since there was little chance to pass on the downhill.
Stirnemann qualified first for the women, just ahead of Rissveds, and both easily made it through to the final. They were joined by Cindy Montambault of Canada and Chloe Woodruff of the United States. Stirnemann got the jump on the first climb, but Rissveds powered back on the second and managed to hold the lead to the line, which came down to a sprint. Montambault took third.
“It feels really good, said Rissveds of her win. “I had a tough start to the season, with the long travel to South Africa and after that to Australia. After Australia I felt bad in the body and the mind and everything. It feels good to finally take a victory here. It looks like I’m back and I’m happy about it.”
Stirnemann now has mathematically won the World Cup with 225 points, since Rissveds, at 160 points, cannot surpass her total in the final round. Rissveds is tied on points with world champion Alexandra Engen (Ghost Factory), who did not race.
The men’s competition saw Soto qualify first, as he had a week earlier in Round 4. He was joined in the final by Mels, defending World Cup champion Daniel Federspiel (Otztal Scott) and Round 4 winner Simon Gegenheimer of Germany.
Soto got the hole shot but faded on the long climb to the descent, allowing Mels and Gegenheimer to get on his wheel. All three came into the final 100 metres together, with Soto just holding off Gegenheimer for the win.
“I had very good qualifying this morning and I had good legs for the finals” explained the Argentinean winner. “This is a hard course and those in the final were all very good riders. I don’t believe it.”
Mels has extended his lead in the overall standings over world champion Paul van der Ploeg of Australia, and now has 157 points to van der Ploeg’s 138, with Federspiel in third at 130 points.
Picture: the men’s final finish line