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Federspiel tops eliminator mountain bike rankings

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The men's world championship eliminator podium: Miha Halzer, Ralph Naf, Daniel Federspiel

The men's world championship eliminator podium: Miha Halzer, Ralph Naf, Daniel Federspiel (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Daniel Federspiel ( Team) won an early heat

Daniel Federspiel ( Team) won an early heat (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Alexandra Engen (Sweden) and Ralph Naef (Switzerland), the first eliminator world champions

Alexandra Engen (Sweden) and Ralph Naef (Switzerland), the first eliminator world champions (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Ralph Naef (Switzerland) gets a poor start in the Big Final

Ralph Naef (Switzerland) gets a poor start in the Big Final (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

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 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. 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,'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, 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." 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 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 for the complete ranking of 291 racers.

2012 Men's Eliminator World Rankings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Daniel Federspiel (Aut)740pts
2Miha Halzer (Slo)658
3Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus)649
4Simon Gegenheimer (Ger)640
5Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi)519
6Martin Gluth (Ger)459
7Brian Lopes (USA)458
8Mirco Widmer (Swi)440
9Ralph Naef (Swi)380
10Fabrice Mels (Bel)345
11Simon Stiebjahn (Ger)327
12Dennis Ebert (Ned)294
13Heiko Gutmann (Ger)290
14Stefan Peter (Swi)289
15Marcel Wildhaber (Swi)284
16Marek Konwa (Pol)282
17Kenta Gallagher (GBr)279
18Chris Jongewaard (Aus)267
19Patrick Lüthi (Swi)250
20Manuel Fumic (Ger)245
21Lukas Kaufmann (Swi)241
22Thomas Litscher (Swi)235
23Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel)235
24Severin Disch (Swi)222
25Christian 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.