Peter prevails in men's eliminator cross country

Neff triumphs in women's eliminator

The sixth round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup opened on Friday evening in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic, with the new eliminator race, which provided the large crowd with sprint finishes for both the men and women.

Remarkably, both winners were first-time participants in the event, and from Switzerland. Jolanda Neff (Swiss National Team) took the women's title, outsprinting Eva Lechner (Colnago Farbe Sudtirol), while Stefan Peter (MK-Zentralschweiz) held off Paul van der Ploeg (Felt Oetztal X-Bionic) for the men's.

Elite women

The qualifiers (31 women and 32 men) worked their way through four rider heats, with the top-two from each race moving on to the next round. Local women's favourite Katerina Nash (Luna) remarkably survived a near crash in the first round and mechanical problems in the second, but her luck gave out in the semi-final, and she did not make the final.

Joining Neff and Lechner in the women's final were Alexandra Engen (Sweden) and Lea Davison (Specialized). The junior-aged Neff couldn't clip her foot in at the start of the final, riding out of the opening straight in last place, but by the halfway mark she was up to second behind Lechner, and then took the lead in the last 75 metres to win. Engen took third, Davison fourth, and Nathalie Schneitter (Colnago Farbe Sudtirol) won the small final for fifth.

Elite men

The men's competition had its share of crashes and mechanicals, but it came down to Peter, van der Ploeg, Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory) and Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida) for the final. Early favourite Thomas Litscher (Felt Oetztal X-Bionic), winner of the Offenburg eliminator, crashed in his semi-final, but recovered in the small final to take the fifth and final podium spot.

In the men's final, Näf and Fumic crashed out of contention before the halfway mark, leaving van der Ploeg to chase down the very fast starting Peter. The Australian came very close to taking it on the line, but his Swiss rival had just enough energy left to hold on for victory.

Elite Men - Big Final
1 Stefan Peter (Swi) MK - Zentralschweiz    
2 Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team    
3 Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing    
4 Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team    
Elite Men - Small Final
5 Thomas Litscher (Swi) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team    
6 Severin Disch (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team    
7 Fabrice Mels (Bel) Rocky Roads - Orbea    
8 Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys - Evenza Team    
Elite Men - 1/4 Finals
9 Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) Elettroveneta - Corratec    
10 Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team    
11 Simon Scheiber (Aut) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team    
12 Milan Spesny (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team    
13 Daniel Federspiel (Aut)    
14 Mirco Widmer (Swi) Giant Swiss SR - Suntour    
15 Kenta Gallagher (GBr)    
DNF Lukas Kaufmann (Swi)    
Elite Men - 1/8 Finals
17 Simon Gegenheimer (Ger)    
18 Michal Prokop (Cze)    
19 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing    
20 Simon Stiebjahn (Ger)    
21 Reto Indergand (Swi) MK - Zentralschweiz    
22 Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing    
23 Matthias Waldhart (Aut)    
24 Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team    
25 Balz Weber (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team    
26 Mike Schuler (Swi) MK - Zentralschweiz    
27 Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team    
28 Mykhaylo Batsutsa (Ukr) Infotre - BI & Esse - Leecougan    
29 Umberto Corti (Ita) Team CBE Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.    
30 Rok Korosec (Slo)    
Elite Men - Not Classified
DNF Frantisek Lami (Svk)    
DNF Jiri Novak CZE S&H Superior Mtb Team    
Elite Women - Big Final
1 Jolanda Neff (Swi)    
2 Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago Farbe Sudtirol    
3 Alexandra Engen (Swe)    
4 Lea Davison (USA) Specialized Racing    
Elite Women - Small Final
5 Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Colnago Farbe Sudtirol    
6 Pavla Havlikova (Cze)    
7 Marielle Saner-Guinchard (Swi) Bikepark.Ch Scott    
8 Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team    
Elite Women - 1/4 Finals
9 Nina Homovec (Slo) Orbea Geax    
10 Pavlina Sulcova (Cze) Merida Biking Team    
11 Katherine O'shea (Aus)    
12 Anne Terpstra (Ned) MPL Specialized Mtb Team    
13 Annie Last (GBr)    
14 Katherine Compton (USA) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team    
15 Lee Craigie (GBr)    
16 Nicole Hanselmann (Swi)    
Elite Women - 1/8 Finals
17 Lucie Vesela (Cze) GT Czech Team    
18 Julia Innerhofer (Ita)    
19 Karolina Kalasova (Cze) Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team    
20 Anna Villar Argente (Spa)    
21 Marta Tereshchuk (Ukr) Infotre - BI & Esse - Leecougan    
22 Tatjana Dold (Ger)    
23 Sandra Santanyes Murillo (Spa)    
24 Stephania Magri (Mlt)    
25 Githa Michiels (Bel) Trek - KMC Trade Team VZW    
26 Melanie Späth (Ger)    
27 Rocio Gamonal Ferrera (Spa)    
28 Vivienne Meyer (Swi) Colnago Farbe Sudtirol    
29 Nicoletta De Jager (Ned)    
30 Caitlin Elliott (Irl)    
Elite Women - Not Classified
DNF Yana Belomoyna (Ukr) Infotre - BI& Esse - Leecougan    


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