British rider celebrates eliminator win in Nove Mesto
British rider Kenta Gallagher (Superior Brentjens) raced to his first career World Cup win in the men's eliminator race in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.
"It's cool to win my first World Cup," said Gallagher. "I'm amazed. I didn't think I could do it so early on and with such a hard track. This course is so hard, there's a lot of tactics involved and you have to make your moves on the final straight."
After qualifying fourth, Gallagher worked his way into the finals where he was joined by Miha Halzer, Christian Pfaffle and Simon Gegenheimer after several other favorites were eliminated due to mechanical issues.
"Knowing you are on the podium is already fun racing, but it was now or never for the win," he said.
In the final, Halzer smashed his derailleur in the rock garden, and Gegenheimer had a flat tire. That left Gallagher to sprint against Pfaffle. On the asphalt to the finish line, Pfaffle initiated the sprint while Gallagher waited, but timed his effort perfectly to come around for the win.
Team owner Bart Brentjens said, " I am really happy for Kenta that he won his first World Cup. When I saw him racing the eliminator last year in Houffalize, I was impressed by the enormous power and sprint capacities he has. It is a great start, and I think Kenta will show us some more good results this year."
Gallagher's performance was also watched by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which came to Nove Mesto na Morave to see whether the relatively new eliminator discipline might be added to the Olympic Games in 2016. A final decision will be made in September later this year.