Mels victorious in Vallnord World Cup eliminator

World Cup leader Federspiel all but locks up overall title

As was the case in the women's race, the men's eliminator at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup had a new face at the top step of the podium for round 4 at Vallnord, Andorra. Fabrice Mels (Salcano Alanya) took the men's win, but Daniel Federspiel (Otztal-Scott) all but assured the overall title with a fifth place finish.

In the men's competition, none of the winners from the first three rounds made it to the final, pointing to the growing depth of competition in this event. Mels, the Belgian champion, was clearly in a class of his own; qualifying first and riding away from his competition in every heat. He was joined in the final by Catriel Andres Soto (Wild Wolf Trek), Titouan Perrin Ganier (Focus/Rotor/ and Simon Gegenheimer (German National). Conspicuously missing were usual favourites Federspiel, Slovenian Miha Halzer and round two winner Kenta Gallagher (Superior Brentjens).

Mels took the lead by the first corner and looked to have race won, but had a scare in the singletrack when he unclipped and almost crashed, before recovering. He had enough of a lead still to cruise in ahead of Soto, with Perrin Ganier a distant third.

"I went too fast and missed a pedal so I lost a bit of grip with the tire and I was trying to avoid the trees and stuff," said Mels. "I am happy I made it alive. It was close. Normally sprint races are not so technical as this one. In the forest I decided to do my own thing, and I train a lot in the technical stuff so that is my thing. So I am happy I could do well on this track.

"Personally [this win] means a lot. I never thought I could win a World Cup. I am right above my head right now. I still have not got it. It is too much at once."

Despite finishing only fifth, Federspiel actually gained on his main rivals, who scored only a few points in Vallnord. After four events of five, Federspiel has 158 points, followed by Gegenheimer at 99 and Halzer at 95. The Austrian only needs to score two points in the final round at Hafjell, Norway to clinch the title.

Full Results

Big Final
1 Fabrice Mels (Bel) Salcano Alanya    
2 Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) Wild Wolf Trek Pro Racing    
3 Titouan Perrin Ganier (Fra) Focus/Rotor/    
4 Simon Gegenheimer (Ger)    
Small Final
5 Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team    
6 Daniel Federspiel (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team    
7 Fabien Canal (Fra) ASPTT Definitive Tec    
8 Patrick Lüthi (Swi)    
1/4 Finals
9 Martin Gluth (Ger)    
10 Kevin Miquel (Fra) Veloroc Lapierre    
11 Philip Buys (RSA)    
12 Andy Eyring (Ger)    
13 Kenta Gallagher (GBr) Superior Brentjens Mountainbike Racing Team    
14 Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Team Bulls    
15 Jan Nesvadba (Cze)    
16 Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team    
1/8 Finals
17 Thibault Geneste (Fra) Scott La Clusaz    
18 Christian Pfäffle (Ger)    
19 Antoine Bouqueret (Fra) Scott La Clusaz    
20 Krystof Bogar (Cze)    
21 Adria Noguera Soldevila (Spa)    
22 Fabian Rabensteiner (Ita) Focus XC Italy Team    
23 Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi)    
24 Jose Maria Sanchez Ruiz (Spa)    
25 Markus Bauer (Ger)    
26 Neilo° Perrin Ganier (Fra) Focus/Rotor/    
27 Miha Halzer (Slo)    
28 Peteris Janevics (Lat)    
29 Stefan Peter (Swi) Strübi MTB Kader    
30 Gerard Alvarez Ortega (Spa)    
31 Maxime Herold (Fra) Calvisson VTT    
32 Adrian Retief (NZl)    
Overall Eliminator Standings
1 Daniel Federspiel (Aut) 158 pts
2 Simon Gegenheimer (Ger) 99  
3 Miha Halzer (Slo) 95  
4 Fabrice Mels (Bel) 88  
5 Kenta Gallagher (GBr) 64  
6 Christian Pfäffle (Ger) 60  
7 Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) 56  
8 Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) 56  
9 Titouan Perrin Ganier (Fra) 48  
10 Fabien Canal (Fra) 45  
11 Thomas Litscher (Swi) 41  
12 Andy Eyring (Ger) 34  
13 Philip Buys (RSA) 32  
14 Raphael Gagne (Can) 25  
15 Stefan Peter (Swi) 23  
16 Martin Gluth (Ger) 20  
17 Thibault Geneste (Fra) 20  
18 Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) 16  
19 Mirco Widmer (Swi) 16  
20 Patrick Lüthi (Swi) 14  
21 Lehvi° Braam (Ned) 12  
22 Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) 12  
23 Kevin Miquel (Fra) 10  
24 Jeroen Van Eck (Ned) 10  
25 Jan Nesvadba (Cze) 8  
26 Gregor Raggl (Aut) 4  
27 Heiko Gutmann (Ger) 4  
28 Axel Lindh (Swe) 2  
29 Erik Groen (Ned) 2  
30 Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) 1  
31 Julian Schelb (Ger) 1  

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