Halzer wins eliminator World Cup round in Nove Mesto

Miha Halzer became the first Slovenian rider to win an Eliminator World Cup when he was victorious at round 2 in Nove Mesto on Friday evening. The race had a bit of everything, with beautiful sunny conditions for the start and torrential rain, thunder and lightning for the men's final. The conditions were so bad that the podium was cancelled, to be held the next day.

Halzer, the number one qualifier for the men, conserved his strength by finishing second in the first two rounds before winning his semi-final heat to make the final. He was joined in the final by defending World Cup champion Daniel Federspiel (Oetztal-Scott), world champion Paul van der Ploeg of Australia and Fabrice Mels (Salcano Alanya). Missing was World Cup leader Samuel Gaze of New Zealand, who didn't make it past the quarterfinals after suffering a mechanical.

Stormclouds had been steadily gathering as the event progressed, but even for the women's final the rain held off. Unfortunately for the men, the skies opened up a minute before they started, drenching everyone with cold rain. The riders were barely visible as they raced around the circuit, and Mels crashed out of contention in the newly slippery conditions. Halzer, on the other hand, seemed to thrive, and took the lead on the final straight to coast in for his first win. Federspiel outsprinted van der Ploeg for second.

"This is my first win," said Halzer, "and I have been chasing it for a long time, so I am feeling very happy. I was feeling better every heat and, no, the rain during the final didn't affect me. It was colder, and I do better in these conditions."

Federspiel, with two second places in two rounds, takes the overall lead in the World Cup standings with 80 points. Gaze drops to second with 64 points, followed by Halzer and van der Ploeg, tied with 60 points.


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Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Miha Halzer (Slo)
2Daniel Federspiel (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team
3Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus)
4Fabrice Mels* (Bel) Salcano Alanya
5Marek Konwa (Pol) Betch.Nl Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team
6Krystof Bogar* (Cze) Betch.Nl Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team
7Philip Buys (RSA)
8Matthias Wengelin (Swe)
9Kevin Miquel (Fra)
10Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team
11Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Team Bulls
12Simon Gegenheimer (Ger)
13Samuel Gaze* (NZl)
14Stefan Peter* (Swi) Wheeler - Ixs Team
15Borys Goral (Pol)
16Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi)
17Catriel Andres Soto (Arg) Mmr Bikes Pro Team
18Patrick Lüthi* (Swi)
19Luiz Cocuzzi* (Bra)
20Martin Gluth (Ger)
21Markus Bauer (Ger)
22Dominic Grab* (Swi)
23Leandre Bouchard* (Can)
24Axel Lindh* (Swe)
25Ludek Seller* (Cze) Ceska Sporitelna Specialized Junior MTB Team
26Titouan Perrin Ganier (Fra) Focus Rotor Coaching-System
27Severin Saegesser* (Swi)
28Tomas Tvrdik (Cze)
29Gregor Raggl* (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team
30Andy Eyring (Ger)
31Marco Schätzing (Ger)
32Javier Rodriguez Perez (Spa)
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Elite men World Cup standings after two rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Daniel Federspiel (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team80pts
2Samuel Gaze* (NZl)64Row 1 - Cell 3
3Miha Halzer (Slo)60Row 2 - Cell 3
4Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus)60Row 3 - Cell 3
5Fabrice Mels* (Bel) Salcano Alanya37Row 4 - Cell 3
6Emil Lindgren (Swe) Giant Pro XC Team25Row 5 - Cell 3
7Simon Gegenheimer (Ger)24Row 6 - Cell 3
8Marek Konwa (Pol) Betch.Nl Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team20Row 7 - Cell 3
9Julian Schelb (Ger) Multivan Merida Biking Team20Row 8 - Cell 3
10Krystof Bogar* (Cze) Betch.Nl Superior Brentjens MTB Racing Team18Row 9 - Cell 3
11Philip Buys (RSA)16Row 10 - Cell 3
12Gregor Raggl* (Aut) Ötztal Scott Racing Team16Row 11 - Cell 3
13Matthias Wengelin (Swe)14Row 12 - Cell 3
14Markus Schulte-Luenzum (Ger) Focus XC Team14Row 13 - Cell 3
15Kevin Miquel (Fra)12Row 14 - Cell 3
16Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Odlo MTB Racing Team10Row 15 - Cell 3
17Shaun Lewis (Aus)10Row 16 - Cell 3
18Simon Stiebjahn (Ger) Team Bulls8Row 17 - Cell 3
19Matthias Stirnemann (Swi) Stöckli Pro Team8Row 18 - Cell 3
20Fabian Giger (Swi) Giant Pro XC Team6Row 19 - Cell 3
21Tristan Ward (Aus)4Row 20 - Cell 3
22Stefan Peter* (Swi) Wheeler - Ixs Team3Row 21 - Cell 3
23Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys Team3Row 22 - Cell 3
24Borys Goral (Pol)2Row 23 - Cell 3
25Steffen Thum (Ger)2Row 24 - Cell 3
26Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi)1Row 25 - Cell 3

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