The young discipline of cross country eliminator mountain bike racing is still getting established, and one website is hoping it will garner more attention for the fledgling discipline by creating a ranking of top eliminator racers.
Eliminators made their debut as test events in the World Cup in 2011 and the first-ever eliminator world championships were held in Saalfelden, Austria, in September of 2012. The UCI does not maintain separate rankings for the eliminator sub-discipline of mountain biking, so the website xceliminator.com took a stab at doing so.
It calculated Daniel Federspiel as the best eliminator rider of 2012 with 740 points. Behind him were Miha Halzer with 658 points and Paul van der Ploeg with 649 points.
The site ranked UCI-categorized eliminators by their UCI cross country equivalent points. National championships were not included because not all nations hold eliminator national championships.
Currently the UCI includes eliminator points in with cross country rider rankings for UCI-categorized races. Xceliminator.com explained its motives in producing the separate rankings. "This website is launched to accelerate the development of the mountain bike discipline cross country eliminator (XCE). We disagree with the fact that this type of race was only a supplement to cross country in 2012. We think XCE should be ranked on its own. With own races, own rankings and own world class riders. Therefore, we created our own World Ranking on this site.
"With this website, we try to encourage organizations, bikers and especially the UCI to separate the XCE experience from cross country. Off course, both events supplement each other in a weekend, but the 2012 season has showed us that XCE is just a different type of game. Most of the time, the results are far from the same. Exceptions like reigning world champion [Ralph] Naef excluded, of course..." Cross country veteran Naef won the first men's eliminator Worlds title.
Noticeably missing from the site are women's eliminator rankings. When asked about this, xceliminator.com's publisher said, "It is my intention to do this, but I don't have women's standings yet." One reason he cited is the lack of availability of some of the women's eliminator results and the other is not having gotten to it yet. "I will get to it after this, but I have a whole winter to create content without races."
For 2013, xceliminator.com is aiming for two rankings - one that is a year-long ranking and one that is a sort of World Cup ranking, like what the UCI does already for cross country and downhill disciplines. "Hopefully, sponsors will join to make a ranking prize. This would stimulate the top XCE riders to ride more than just the World Cups."
Xceliminator.com is also hoping its ranking efforts, especially if national championships are included in the rankings next year, will motivate more federations to hold races which award eliminator national titles.
The website published a draft calendar for 2013 rankings on its site at www.xceliminator.com/p/calendar.html and is inviting organizers of UCI categorized 3 or higher events to contact them to be added to the calendar.
The top 25 riders in the 2012 ranking are shown below. See www.xceliminator.com/p/world-ranking.html for the complete ranking of 291 racers.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Daniel Federspiel (Aut)||740||pts|
|2||Miha Halzer (Slo)||658|
|3||Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus)||649|
|4||Simon Gegenheimer (Ger)||640|
|5||Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi)||519|
|6||Martin Gluth (Ger)||459|
|7||Brian Lopes (USA)||458|
|8||Mirco Widmer (Swi)||440|
|9||Ralph Naef (Swi)||380|
|10||Fabrice Mels (Bel)||345|
|11||Simon Stiebjahn (Ger)||327|
|12||Dennis Ebert (Ned)||294|
|13||Heiko Gutmann (Ger)||290|
|14||Stefan Peter (Swi)||289|
|15||Marcel Wildhaber (Swi)||284|
|16||Marek Konwa (Pol)||282|
|17||Kenta Gallagher (GBr)||279|
|18||Chris Jongewaard (Aus)||267|
|19||Patrick Lüthi (Swi)||250|
|20||Manuel Fumic (Ger)||245|
|21||Lukas Kaufmann (Swi)||241|
|22||Thomas Litscher (Swi)||235|
|23||Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel)||235|
|24||Severin Disch (Swi)||222|
|25||Christian Pfäffle (Ger)||206|
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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews. She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.
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