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Peter prevails in men's eliminator cross country

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The photo finish

The photo finish (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jolanda Neff was very strong

Jolanda Neff was very strong (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Annie Last was strong until a flat knocked her out in the quarterfinal round

Annie Last was strong until a flat knocked her out in the quarterfinal round (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Katarina Nash goes up on her front wheel after the first half log obstacle

Katarina Nash goes up on her front wheel after the first half log obstacle (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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podium: Davison, Lechner, Neff, Engen, Schneitter

podium: Davison, Lechner, Neff, Engen, Schneitter (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Stefan Peter (MK - Zentralschweiz) takes the win over Paul Van Der Ploeg (Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team)

Stefan Peter (MK - Zentralschweiz) takes the win over Paul Van Der Ploeg (Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Paul Van Der Ploeg (Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team) and Thomas Litscher (Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team) in 1/2 finals

Paul Van Der Ploeg (Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team) and Thomas Litscher (Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team) in 1/2 finals (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Fabrice Mels (Rocky Roads - Orbea) rockin' the baggie shorts

Fabrice Mels (Rocky Roads - Orbea) rockin' the baggie shorts (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Severin Disch (Thoemus Racing Team) and Ralph Naf (Multivan Merida)

Severin Disch (Thoemus Racing Team) and Ralph Naf (Multivan Merida) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing) and Sepp Freiburghaus (Thoemus Racing Team) going head to head in 1/8 finals heat

Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory Racing) and Sepp Freiburghaus (Thoemus Racing Team) going head to head in 1/8 finals heat (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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podium: Naf, Van Der Ploeg, Peter, Fumic, Litscher

podium: Naf, Van Der Ploeg, Peter, Fumic, Litscher (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Neff catches Lechner on the line

Neff catches Lechner on the line (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

The sixth round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup opened on Friday evening in Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic, with the new eliminator race, which provided the large crowd with sprint finishes for both the men and women.

Remarkably, both winners were first-time participants in the event, and from Switzerland. Jolanda Neff (Swiss National Team) took the women's title, outsprinting Eva Lechner (Colnago Farbe Sudtirol), while Stefan Peter (MK-Zentralschweiz) held off Paul van der Ploeg (Felt Oetztal X-Bionic) for the men's.

Elite women

The qualifiers (31 women and 32 men) worked their way through four rider heats, with the top-two from each race moving on to the next round. Local women's favourite Katerina Nash (Luna) remarkably survived a near crash in the first round and mechanical problems in the second, but her luck gave out in the semi-final, and she did not make the final.

Joining Neff and Lechner in the women's final were Alexandra Engen (Sweden) and Lea Davison (Specialized). The junior-aged Neff couldn't clip her foot in at the start of the final, riding out of the opening straight in last place, but by the halfway mark she was up to second behind Lechner, and then took the lead in the last 75 metres to win. Engen took third, Davison fourth, and Nathalie Schneitter (Colnago Farbe Sudtirol) won the small final for fifth.

Elite men

The men's competition had its share of crashes and mechanicals, but it came down to Peter, van der Ploeg, Manuel Fumic (Cannondale Factory) and Ralph Näf (Multivan Merida) for the final. Early favourite Thomas Litscher (Felt Oetztal X-Bionic), winner of the Offenburg eliminator, crashed in his semi-final, but recovered in the small final to take the fifth and final podium spot.

In the men's final, Näf and Fumic crashed out of contention before the halfway mark, leaving van der Ploeg to chase down the very fast starting Peter. The Australian came very close to taking it on the line, but his Swiss rival had just enough energy left to hold on for victory.

Elite Men - Big Final
1Stefan Peter (Swi) MK - Zentralschweiz
2Paul Van Der Ploeg (Aus) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team
3Manuel Fumic (Ger) Cannondale Factory Racing
4Ralph Naef (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team

Elite Men - Small Final
5Thomas Litscher (Swi) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team
6Severin Disch (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team
7Fabrice Mels (Bel) Rocky Roads - Orbea
8Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel) Versluys - Evenza Team

Elite Men - 1/4 Finals
9Nicola Rohrbach (Swi) Elettroveneta - Corratec
10Sepp Freiburghaus (Swi) Thoemus Racing Team
11Simon Scheiber (Aut) Felt Oetztal X - Bionic Team
12Milan Spesny (Cze) S&H Superior MTB Team
13Daniel Federspiel (Aut)
14Mirco Widmer (Swi) Giant Swiss SR - Suntour
15Kenta Gallagher (GBr)
DNFLukas Kaufmann (Swi)

Elite Men - 1/8 Finals
17Simon Gegenheimer (Ger)
18Michal Prokop (Cze)
19Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing
20Simon Stiebjahn (Ger)
21Reto Indergand (Swi) MK - Zentralschweiz
22Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing
23Matthias Waldhart (Aut)
24Adam Craig (USA) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team
25Balz Weber (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team
26Mike Schuler (Swi) MK - Zentralschweiz
27Jan Skarnitzl (Cze) Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team
28Mykhaylo Batsutsa (Ukr) Infotre - BI & Esse - Leecougan
29Umberto Corti (Ita) Team CBE Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.
30Rok Korosec (Slo)

Elite Men - Not Classified
DNFFrantisek Lami (Svk)
DNFJiri Novak CZE S&H Superior Mtb Team

Elite Women - Big Final
1Jolanda Neff (Swi)
2Eva Lechner (Ita) Colnago Farbe Sudtirol
3Alexandra Engen (Swe)
4Lea Davison (USA) Specialized Racing

Elite Women - Small Final
5Nathalie Schneitter (Swi) Colnago Farbe Sudtirol
6Pavla Havlikova (Cze)
7Marielle Saner-Guinchard (Swi) Bikepark.Ch Scott
8Katerina Nash (Cze) Luna Pro Team

Elite Women - 1/4 Finals
9Nina Homovec (Slo) Orbea Geax
10Pavlina Sulcova (Cze) Merida Biking Team
11Katherine O'shea (Aus)
12Anne Terpstra (Ned) MPL Specialized Mtb Team
13Annie Last (GBr)
14Katherine Compton (USA) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team
15Lee Craigie (GBr)
16Nicole Hanselmann (Swi)

Elite Women - 1/8 Finals
17Lucie Vesela (Cze) GT Czech Team
18Julia Innerhofer (Ita)
19Karolina Kalasova (Cze) Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team
20Anna Villar Argente (Spa)
21Marta Tereshchuk (Ukr) Infotre - BI & Esse - Leecougan
22Tatjana Dold (Ger)
23Sandra Santanyes Murillo (Spa)
24Stephania Magri (Mlt)
25Githa Michiels (Bel) Trek - KMC Trade Team VZW
26Melanie Späth (Ger)
27Rocio Gamonal Ferrera (Spa)
28Vivienne Meyer (Swi) Colnago Farbe Sudtirol
29Nicoletta De Jager (Ned)
30Caitlin Elliott (Irl)

Elite Women - Not Classified
DNFYana Belomoyna (Ukr) Infotre - BI& Esse - Leecougan

 

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