Three Australian’s were in action overnight in the Cross-Country Eliminator, with the first of the world championships crowns up for grabs at the 2015 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships in Vallnord, Andorra.
Located at over 7300 feet above sea level, our Aussie riders were forced to battle both the tough competition and the high altitude, in what was a taxing day in the saddle.
Paul Van Der Ploeg, the 2013 World Champion in this discipline, was joined by Cam Ivory in the elite men, while Em Parkes was in action in the elite women. All three riders managed to qualify for the quarter-finals, qualifying in 14th, 16th and 10th respectively.
In the quarter finals, Van Der Ploeg was unfortunately involved in a big crash and was airlifted for medical treatment, thankfully he will make a full recovery. He finished in 16th position.
Ivory rode well to finish in 12th behind Austria’s Daniel Federspiel who was crowned world champion, while Parkes finished in 9th behind Switzerland’s Linda Indergand.
Attention for Australia now turns to the Cross-Country Team Relay, which is scheduled to get underway at tonight at 7pm EST.
* Watch Paul Van Der Ploeg’s crash after a collision with the Italian racer, at the 1:59:29 mark in the video above.
The 900 metre circuit saw the riders sprint to get the front position before a series of zig-zag turns that took them 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.
The men’s field boasted all of the previous world champions for this discipline – Ralph Naef (Switzerland), Paul van der Ploeg (Australia) and defending champion Fabrice Mels (Belgium). Showing the depth of talent in the field, none of them would make the final. Federspiel was joined in the final by Samuel Gaze (New Zealand), Simon Gegenheimer (Germany) and Kevin Miquel (France).
Switzerland dominated the women’s heats, putting three of the four riders that made the final – Indergand, defending champion Kathrin Stirnemann and Ramona Forchini. Ingrid Boe Jacobsen (Norway) took the last spot.