The Elite Women event promises to be one of the highlights of these World Championships, including four seasoned favourites. The young German competitor, Nina Reichenbach, the Spaniard Gemma Abant and the Australian Janine Jungfels – each of whom won a round in the World Cup this year – will be the toughest opponents for the outgoing World Champion, the Slovak rider Tatiana Janickova. The latter won the European Championship this year and finished second in the last three rounds of the UCI Trials World Cup. She regularly obtains good results, and knows when she needs to excel to obtain a title. Behind those four women, Swiss pilot Debi Studer, Perrine Devahive from Belgium and the Slovak Kristina Sykorova will be outsiders to look out for.
Will the Elite Men 20’’ race see, for the second time in a row, the crowning of Abel Mustieles from Spain? If we take into account his results since the beginning of the season, he seems untouchable, as last year, with his nine consecutive wins in the UCI events! Leader in the World Cup, the outgoing World Champion seems to be riding on a cloud. His main opponents will be Dutch rider Rick Koekoek, his fellow countrymen Ion Areitio and Benito Ros, and the French pilot Aurélien Fontenoy, 2013 World Vice-Champion. However, they will have to perform at 100% to pose him a threat. In the challengers’ category, we can mention the French athletes Marius Merger and Théau Courtes, the German Raphael Pils, the Japanese Kazuki Terai, the Swiss Lucien Leiser, the Austrian Thomas Pechhacker, the Slovak Jan Kocis and even the Czech Vaclav Kolar.
In the Elite Men 26’’category, there are three hot favourites who have won all the titles since 2005: the outgoing World Champion Vincent Hermance from France, and the many-times World Champions Gilles Coustellier (FRA) and Kenny Belaey (BEL). To get in front of this hard-to-beat trio suited to high-level competition, the opponents will have to be very determined. However, beware! – Aurélien Fontenoy (FRA), Giacomo Coustellier (FRA), Kevin Aglae (FRA), Nicolas Vuillermot (FRA), Rafa Tibau (ESP) and Andrei Burton (GBR) will be travelling to the North of Europe in the hope of getting on the podium. And what if the major upheaval came from Abel Mustieles, who, for the first time, will compete in the 26-inch category striving to attempt the impossible by achieving a historic double win 20’’ and 26’’? The grand final of the Elite Men 26’’ could well be the race of the year: THE historic race which will close the trials events in Lillehammer.
The World Championships give the Juniors an opportunity to showcase their competencies and to gain experience in the race for the title and podium at international level.
In the Junior Men 26’’ category, the very hot favourite is the Brit Jack Carthy, who has just had a brilliant result in the World Cup and of which he is the leader at barely 18 years of age! Needless to say that, barring a catastrophe, the other 26’’ Juniors taking part in the final will only compete in order to be with him on the podium. The French pilots Nicolas Vallée and Alex Rudeau, as well as the Spaniard Sergi Llongueras and Dominik Oswald from Germany, will find themselves competing shoulder-to-shoulder for the medals.
As for the Junior Men 20’’,a quartet that has already proven its worth in the World Cup should be in the running for the title and the podium. The Frenchman Alex Rudeau, the German Dominik Oswald and the Spaniard Oriol Roca are positioned as favourites in the category, following the results obtained this season in the World Cup. An unknown element remains, with Japanese athlete Daichi Stuboi who will be coming directly from the Land of the Rising Sun.
During the World Championships, a Nations title will be awarded. If Spain, very well equipped in all the categories, once again emerges as favourite, France is hoping to capture the title again whereas Germany also wants to step up onto the podium, which it regularly does, just like Switzerland.
Rendez-vous then from September 3rd for the start of the qualifiers. After four days of competition, we will know the names of the champions who will succeed Tatiana Janickova (Elite Women), Abel Mustieles (Elite Men 20’’), Vincent Hermance (Elite Men 26’’), Bernat Seuba (Junior Men 20’’) and Jack Carthy (Junior Men 26’’).