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

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