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MTB World Cup Cross Country #4 & Eliminator #3 - Albstadt 2014

Date range:
May 30 - June 1

May 30, Elite men eliminator:

Mels wins eliminator World Cup in Albstadt

Rob Jones
May 30, 2014, 23:02 BST,
May 31, 2014, 4:02 BST

Van der Ploeg takes the lead in overall standings

The men's eliminator World Cup series was bound to get a new leader at round 3 in Albstadt, Germany, when Daniel Federspiel (Oetztal-Scott), the leader after round 2, broke his chain in qualifying, and round 1 winner Samuel Gaze of New Zealand did not start. Fabrice Mels (Salcano Alanya) earned the win, the second his career, while Australia's Paul van der Ploeg, the world champion, took the overall lead in the men's series after finishing second in Albstadt.

Mels and van der Ploeg were seeded into the same heat from the first round, and took turns finishing first and second on their way through the heats to the final. They were joined in the final by first time podium attendee Leandre Bouchard (Team Canada) and Swiss rider Patrick Luthi. Bouchard was very strong on the latter half of the course, winning all three of his preliminary heats.

The race stayed close right to the finish line, with Canadian champion Bouchard leading out the slightly downhill sprint, with van der Ploeg coming by to take the lead, only to be caught and passed in the final metres by Mels, who threw his bike over the line to win the second World Cup of his career. Luthi just passed Bouchard for third.

"It's amazing, really amazing," said Mels. "I was feeling strong but there were strong riders today. It was really a long sprint so I was a little bit nervous about it. It is so nice to win a second World Cup. I am really happy."

"I hoped it would come down to a sprint.. I am really good at it. I was trying in the heats not to burn too much energy; just to pass through with a good pace. I knew for the final I would have to be strong. I watched the others sprint and knew how strong they were. I am so relieved that my tactic worked."

"It's crazy that I was able to get into the final," said van der Ploeg, "because I was coming down a bit sick this week, so I wasn't super confident. My tactic was to go out hard and try to control the race from the front. It was all going to plan, but Fabrice was just too strong in the final straight."

Van der Ploeg takes the lead in the World Cup series with 100 points, followed by Mels only three points.


Elite men eliminator finals
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Fabrice Mels* (Bel) Salcano Alanya    
2 Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus)    
3 Patrick Lüthi* (Swi)    
4 Leandre Bouchard* (Can)    
5 Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Team Bulls    
6 Heiko Gutmann (Ger)    
7 Elia Silvestri (Ita)    
8 Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) MMR Bikes Pro Team    
9 Roger Jenny* (Swi)    
10 Andy Eyring (Ger)    
11 Emil Lindgren (Swe) Giant Pro XC Team    
12 Lehvi Braam* (Ned)    
13 Kevin Miquel (Fra)    
14 Miha Halzer (Slo)    
15 Miguel Martinez (Fra) Tropix-Frm    
16 Borys Goral (Pol)    
17 Ludek Seller* (Cze) Ceska Sporitelna Specialized Junior Mtb Team    
18 Jan Nesvadba (Cze)    
19 Maxime Herold* (Fra) Calvisson VTT    
20 Andrew L'esperance (Can)    
21 Peter Disera* (Can)    
22 Titouan Perrin Ganier (Fra) Focus Rotor Coaching-System    
23 Marco Schätzing (Ger)    
24 Stefan Peter* (Swi) Wheeler - Ixs Team    
25 Luiz Cocuzzi* (Bra)    
26 Evgenii Pechenin (Rus) Format-Udmurtia    
27 Martino Fruet (Ita)    
28 Fabian Costa* (Aut)    
29 Patryk Adamkiewicz* (Pol) Sante-Bsa Whistle Team    
30 Kevin Berginc* (Slo) Unior Tools Team    
31 Sébastien Cadieux-Duval (Can)    
32 Adria Noguera Soldevila* (Spa)    
Elite men World Cup standings after three rounds
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus) 100  pts
2 Fabrice Mels* (Bel) Salcano Alanya 97  
3 Daniel Federspiel (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team 80  
4 Samuel Gaze (NZl) 64  
5 Miha Halzer (Slo) 63  
6 Emil Lindgren (Swe) Giant Pro XC Team 33  
7 Patrick Lüthi* (Swi) 30  
8 Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Team Bulls 28  
9 Leandre Bouchard* (Can) 25  
10 Simon Gegenheimer (Ger) 24  
11 Marek Konwa (Pol) Betch.Nl Superior Brentjens Mtb Racing Team 20  
12 Julian Schelb (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team 20  
13 Heiko Gutmann (Ger) 18  
14 Krystof Bogar* (Cze) Betch.Nl Superior Brentjens Mtb Racing Team 18  
15 Elia Silvestri (Ita) 16  
16 Philip Buys (RSA) 16  
17 Gregor Raggl (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team 16  
18 Kevin Miquel (Fra) 16  
19 Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) MMR Bikes Pro Team 14  
20 Matthias Wengelin (Swe) 14  
21 Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger) Focus XC Team 14  
22 Roger Jenny* (Swi) 12  
23 Andy Eyring (Ger) 10  
24 Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Odlo Mtb Racing Team 10  
25 Shaun Lewis (Aus) 10  
26 Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team 8  
27 Lehvi Braam* (Ned) 6  
28 Fabian Giger (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team 6  
29 Tristan Ward (Aus) 4  
30 Stefan Peter* (Swi) Wheeler - Ixs Team 3  
31 Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team 3  
32 Borys Goral (Pol) 3  
33 Miguel Martinez (Fra) Tropix-Frm 2  
34 Steffen Thum (Ger) 2  
35 Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) 1