Attacking raid nets Freiburghaus the eliminator victory

Fastest qualifier van der Ploeg settles for second

The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup put a new face on the top step of the podium of the eliminator at Nove Mesto na Morave in the Czech Republic on Friday. A brillant mid-race attack by Sepp Freiburghaus (Thoemus Racing) caught all of his rivals off guard, allowing the Swiss rider to take the win.

Australian Paul van der Ploeg (Felt Oetztal X-Bionic) was considered the favourite for the men, after qualifying first and finishing second here last year. His powerful sprint afforded him the ability to come from behind on the long finishing straight.

In the final, Freiburghaus and van der Ploeg were joined by Mirco Widmer (Giant Swiss SR Suntour), Germany's Martin Gluth, Marcel Wildhaber (Scott-Swisspower) and Marek Konwa (Milka-Superior).

Significantly, round one winner Brian Lopes and cross country stars Jose Hermida (Multivan Merida), Manuel Fumic (Cannondale) and Marco Fontana (Cannondale) did not make the final.

In the final, at the far side of the course on the only climb, Freiburghaus attacked, immediately gaining 10 metres on his rivals, who all looked at each other, with none willing to take the initiative and lead the chase. Coming into the final straightaway, Freiburghaus was still well in front and cruised across the line while van der Ploeg led the rest of the group in, shaking his head. Widmer took third.

"It was pretty tactical in the climb," said Freiburghaus, "and so I changed my tactic for the final. I tried with an attack on the climb, and then got a gap. On this eliminator it was very important to have a good tactic. If you were in the lead for the whole round, you had a problem when you came with four or five guys onto this straight finish. I am very happy to bring it to the line."

"It was a brilliant move by Sepp [Freiburghaus]," said van der Ploeg. "I was thinking 'oh damn' when he attacked, but that was it, that was the move. I would have liked to have won, of course, but I'm happy to be on the podium again."

Full Results

Big final
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team    
2 Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team    
3 Mirco Widmer (Swi) Giant Swiss SR - Suntour    
4 Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB Racing Team    
5 Marek Konwa (Pol) Milka-Superior MTB Racing Team    
6 Martin Gluth (Ger)    
Small final
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
7 Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team    
8 Simon Gegenheimer (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team    
9 Jochen Kass (Ger) S&H Superior MTB Team    
10 Milan Spesny (Cze) Cannondale Factory Racing    
11 Martin Gujan (Swi) Notebooksbilliger.De Team    
12 Daniel Federspiel (Aut)    
Round 1
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
13 Jan Fojtik (Cze)    
14 Lukas Loretz (Swi) Giant Swiss SR - Suntour    
15 Philip Buys (RSA)    
16 Simon Stiebjahn (Ger)    
17 Lukas Kaufmann (Swi) Team Fujibikes Rockets    
18 Marco Schätzing (Ger)    
19 Thomas Litscher (Swi) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team    
20 Simon Scheiber (Aut) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team    
21 Kenta Gallagher (GBr)    
22 Moritz Milatz (Ger) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team    
23 Fabrice Mels (Bel) Salcano Factory Team    
24 Matthias Wengelin (Swe) Team Herbalife 24 Raumerrittet    
25 Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing    
26 Rudi Van Houts (Ned) Multivan Merida Biking Team    
27 Jérémy Huguenin (Swi) Giant Swiss SR - Suntour    
28 Miha Halzer (Slo) Energijateam.Com    
29 Brian Lopes (USA)    
30 Michal Lami (Svk)    
31 Markus Bauer (Ger)    
32 Ola Kjören (Nor) Team Herbalife 24 Raumerrittet    
33 Jan Nesvadba (Cze)    
34 Marek Rauchfuss (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team    
35 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing    
36 Davy Huygens (Bel)    
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