The French National anthem rang out twice in Chengdu, China, on Friday after the Mountain Bike Cross-country Eliminator races on day three of the 2018 UCI Urban Cycling World Championships.
In the women’s race, Coline Clauzure was the author of her best performance ever at an international event. The French athlete, fifth last year, led the race from start to finish to take victory in front of Ukrainian Irina Popova and Germany’s Marion Fromberger. “After a good start, I got my mindset in gear, and gave it everything. I knew it wasn’t easy to overtake on the circuit. I came second at the European Championships but this… ‘Wow!’ To come and win at the Worlds, it’s just crazy!”
A few minutes later, France was represented by three of the four riders in the Men’s final. It was the defending UCI World Champion Titouan Perrin Ganier who just managed to get the better of his compatriots Hugo Briatta and Lorenzo Serres. “Gosh… that was hard! It was close, and I had pressure on my shoulders, defending my jersey against other French. Whereas last year it was an explosion of joy, this year, it’s a relief.”
In the Trials competition, riders in the five categories competed in the semi-finals on Thursday and Friday. In the Women’s competition, the reigning UCI World Champion Nina Reichenbach (Germany), silver medallist in the teams event on Wednesday, dominated her semi-final by finishing with 770 points, 190 more than her closest rival Manon Basseville (France).
In the Junior Men’s 20”, Alejandro Montalvo confirmed his good shape: the Spanish athlete, winner of the Elite UCI World Cup this season and UCI World Champion in the teams event that opened these Worlds, finished in the lead of his semi-final.
Germany’s Oliver Widmann showed his fellow competitors what’s what in the Junior Men’s 26” semi-final. He finished with 770 points and a significant lead – more than double the points – over the second-placed competitor Felix Keitel, also of Germany.
The semi-final of the Elite Men’s 20” competition was dominated by Austrian Thomas Pechhacker, while the Elite Men’s 26” saw Great Britain’s Jack Carthy finish in the lead with the same number of points (710) as Frenchman Nicolas Vallée
The finals of all categories will be held on Saturday.
Friday also saw the start of the BMX Freestyle competition with the Men’s qualifications. The Men’s semi-finals will be held on Saturday along with the Women’s qualifications and semi-finals. The BMX Freestyle finals are scheduled for Sunday.