Giger and Engen win MTB-Bundesliga final

German series wraps up in Bad Salzdetfurth

Alexandra Engen and Fabian Giger took the win at MTB-Bundesliga final round in Bad Salzdetfurth on Sunday. The Swede and the Swiss also grabbed the overall series titles. In U23 men's category Christian Pfäffle took a surprising win, while eliminator victories went to Katrin Leumann and Jeroen van Eck.

Women: Engen surprises the veterans

Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa or Irina Kalentieva?, that was the question, while spectators were waiting in the finish area for the last lap of women's competition. The answer was: Alexandra Engen!

The freshly crowned eliminator world champion went into the last lap in third, with a gap of 25 seconds to Dahle-Flesjaa and Kalentieva. The two experienced racers were supposed to fight for the win in Bad Salzdetfurth.

But when Engen saw Kalentieva in front of her, she started her engine again. "I thought, 'Five minutes of suffering is possible'," said Engen.

Engen caught Kalentieva, passed her and then reached Dahle-Flesjaa.

Dahle Flesjaa, the runner-up last weekend at the cross country Worlds, was astonished. "Alexandra was flying," she said. "I was over the limit. She is young and talented and we have to accept, that sometimes she is faster than we are."

Engen was talking about "one of the best victories of my career", because it was her first time beating two of the best mountain bikers in the world in a regular race. "It's great to finish a season like that," said Engen.

Kalentieva accepted the strength of the Swede. "When she came along, I had no chance to follow, she was so fast. So I said to myself, third spot on the podium is not too bad," said the Russian.

Engen had secured the overall Bundesliga win the day before, taking a second place in the eliminator behind her Ghost teammate Katrin Leumann while Nadine Rieder took a surprising third spot.

Men: Giger feels the pressure from Hermida

After his fifth place at the Worlds last weekend, Fabian Giger was called a favourite, and he acted like one. He took the lead in the very first lap and came out of it with a gap of six seconds in front of a bigger group of chasers.

Giger increased the gap and when José Antonio Hermida put himself in second position in the second lap, it was a 18 seconds difference between the Swiss and the Spaniard.

From then on, Hermida tried hard to close the gap. It pendulumed between 15 and 25 seconds. Giger was stronger in the uphill, and Hermida took back seconds in the downhill. But he couldn't close.

When they both entered the last of seven laps, Hermida was only nine seconds behind the leading Giger and while they were riding the last 4.48 kilometers, it was expected that Hermida would take it.

"I saw him close and knew that I had to go full gas," said Giger, "and it worked. I'm happy to take the win here in this great atmosphere."

Hermida congratulated Giger. "He had a good strategy, when he took the seconds in the first two laps. I was trying hard to get him, but I couldn't. To beat Fabian on a course with climbs like here, it is very difficult. Too difficult."

Behind them, Martin Gujan tried for a while to get up to Hermida, but he recognized the futility of his efforts and instead secured the third spot on the podium. "I tried to close the gap, but then I realized that it was not possible. But I'm really happy with my race," Gujan said.

The Bundesliga overall also went to Fabian Giger because his Rabobank-Giant teammate Emil Lindgren couldn't make it to sixth place, which was necessary. He finished ninth, but was not unhappy. "I did everything to keep the sixth position, but at the end I was dead. The overall stays in the team, that's good as it is," Lindgren said.

Saturday Lindgren tried to get some points in the eliminator to increase his lead, but at 16th, he earned only three, which didn't help much.

The Dutchman Jeroen van Eck won the eliminator and was surprised. "It was my first eliminator ever, I never thought to win," van Eck said.

In an evening event in the streets of picturesque Bad Salzdetfurth, van Eck ruled over Marco Schätzing and Julian Schelb.

U23 men: Pfäffle carries forward fine form

Sunday's U23 cross country race produced a surprising first-ever win for Christian Pfäffle. The 19-year-old German, who was fourth at the eliminator world championships last weekend, put in an impressive race, by beating Jonas Pedersen and Jens Schuermans.

"I was hoping for a good end of the season and it was," said Pfäffle. He left his two contenders in the fourth of six laps, when he got a gap in the downhill.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Fabian Giger (Swi)1:33:50 
2José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa)0:00:20 
3Martin Gujan (Swi)0:01:56 
4Moritz Milatz (Ger)0:02:22 
5Henk Jaap Moorlag (Ned)0:02:27 
6Robert Mennen (Ger)0:02:53 
7Jochen Kass (Ger)0:03:16 
8Martin Fanger (Swi)0:03:22 
9Emil Lindgren (Swe)0:04:14 
10Bjorn Brems (Bel)0:05:44 
11Uwe Hochenwarter (Aut)0:06:07 
12Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger)0:06:42 
13Markus Bauer (Ger)0:06:58 
14Shlomi Haimy (Isr)0:07:34 
15Torsten Marx (Ger)0:08:01 
16Matthias Leisling (Ger)0:10:09 
17Heiko Gutmann (Ger)0:11:43 
18Gerrit Rosenkranz (Ger)0:13:49 
19Tim Lemmers (Ned)0:14:02 
20Tom Ettlich (Ger)  
21Zdenek Vobecky (Cze)  
22Andi Weinhold (Ger)  
23Sebastian Szraucner (Ger)  
24Martin Larsen (Den)  
25Hamish Batchelor (GBr)  
26Timo Modosch (Ger)  
27Cristobal Silva Ibaceta (Chi)  
28Marco Schätzing (Ger)  
29Benjamin Oesterle (Ger)  
30Jeffrey Andris (Ger)  
31Sebastian Mordmuller (Ger)  
32Ahmed-Ridvan Reichling (Ger)  
33David Wimmert (Ger)  
34Martin Knape (Ger)  
35Martin Toft (Den)  
36Lukas Schmitz (Ger)  
Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alexandra Engen (Swe)1:34:48 
2Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Nor)0:00:12 
3Irina Kalentieva (Rus)0:00:32 
4Elisabeth Osl (Aut)0:02:46 
5Silke Schmidt (Ger)0:03:52 
6Annika Langvad (Den)0:05:54 
7Anja Gradl (Ger)0:06:48 
8Katrin Leumann (Swi)0:07:00 
9Hanna Klein (Ger)0:09:50 
10Paula Gorycka (Pol)0:11:06 
11Nadine Rieder (Ger)0:15:37 
12Elisabeth Brandau (Ger)0:17:42 
13Barbara Benko (Hun)0:17:57 
14Regina Genser (Ger)0:19:05 
15Noga Korem (Isr)  
16Vanessa Kleih (Ger)  
17Lena Wehrle (Ger)  
18Chiara Eberle (Ger)  
19Susanne Juranek (Ger)  
20Asuman Bura Balci (Tur)  
21Steffi Schulze (Ger)  
U23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Christian Pfäffle (Ger)1:23:48 
2Jonas Pedersen (Den)0:00:22 
3Jens Schuermans (Bel)0:01:01 
4Didier Bats (Bel)0:01:50 
5Rens De Bruin (Ned)0:01:54 
6Aaron Beck (Ger)0:02:14 
7Erik Groen (Ned)0:02:26 
8Maximilian Holz (Ger)0:03:05 
9Sebastian Batchelor (GBr)0:03:18 
10Michael Wanski (Ger)0:03:19 
11Marcel Fleschhut (Ger)0:03:36 
12Martin Gluth (Ger)0:03:39 
13David Simon (Ger)0:03:44 
14Olof Jonsson (Swe)0:05:01 
15Jeroen Van Eck (Ned)0:05:15 
16Thijs Zuurbier (Ned)0:05:39 
17Simon Stiebjahn (Ger)0:05:47 
18Jochen Weisenseel (Ger)0:05:57 
19Anselm Wüllner (Ger)0:06:22 
20Christopher Platt (Ger)0:07:15 
21Maxi Maier (Ger)0:07:25 
22Louis Wolf (Ger)0:07:47 
23Adrian Sauer (Ger)0:08:09 
24Geert Van Der Horst (Ned)0:08:25 
25Marvin Schmidt (Ger)0:08:51 
26Patricio Maximiliano Farias Diaz (Chi)0:08:59 
27Pieter Geluykens (Bel)0:09:26 
28Thomas Rasmussen (Den)0:09:44 
29Marcel Pöter (Ger)0:11:45 
30Yannik Brischle (Ger)  
31Andre Schutz (Ger)0:12:48 
32Pierre Happel (Ger)  
33Robert Traupe (Ger)  
34Oliver Laundenberg (Ger)  
35Michael Feinauer (Ger)  
36Jan Eric Müller (Ger)  
37Lukas Holtkamp (Ger)  
38David Schiel (Ger)  
39Marcel Lehrian (Ger)  
40Alexander Schlenkrich (Ger)  
41Constantin Kolb (Ger)  
42Tobias Reiser (Ger)  
43Markus Schrempp (Ger)  

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