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


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