MTB Eliminator: first UCI World Cup wins of season for Popova and Mels

Sep 18, 2018, 15:16 PM

The fifth round of the UCI MTB Eliminator World Cup powered by in Winterberg, Germany, saw new winners in both the women’s and men’s races.

The fast, technical course challenged the riders with an uphill finish to the town’s Kurpark.

European Champion, Iryna Popova (Ukraine) dominated the women’s final, soloing to victory ahead of UCI World Cup leader Ingrid Bøe Jacobsen (Norway) and Ella Holmegård (Sweden). It was the first World Cup win this year for the 27-year-old athlete who finished second in the third round in Graz (Austria) the day after winning her European title.

“It is been a great year,” the Ukraine athlete told after the race. “I’m so happy to win here…. I didn’t expect to win in Winterberg.”

Meanwhile Jacobsen, winner of the first two rounds, continues to lead the overall rankings. She has 205 points, 67 more than Popova, who moves up from fourth to second place pushing Holmegård down into third.

Belgian Champion Fabrice Mels won the men’s final thanks to a surge in the final metres that saw him overtake series leader, Dutch Champion Jeroen van Eck. German Champion Simon Gegenheimer, who won the fourth round in Apeldoorn (the Netherlands) was unable to repeat in front of his home crowd, but still made the podium, in third place.

While van Eck continues to lead the overall rankings with 178 points, the battle behind him is intense: UCI World Champion Titouan Perrin-Ganier and fellow Frenchman Lorenzo Serres both sit on 123 points, with Gegenheimer just two points adrift (121).

Competition continues next weekend with the sixth and penultimate round in Antwerp (Belgium).

Full results