Kathrin Stirnemann (Switzerland) rode to win the first gold medal of the 2014 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships on Tuesday evening in Lillehammer. Linda Indergand gave Switzerland another medal with a second place finish while Norway's Ingrid Boe Jacobsen delighted the home crowd with a bronze medal.
"To win is unbelievable - a dream come true for me," said Stirnemann. "When I was a little girl, I always wanted to become world champion, and now I have a jersey."
"It was our goal to go for a double and once we were in the final, Linda and I tried our best. We told each other which line we'd take in the forest and it worked out. I'm proud to be Swiss and I think the Swiss team is on fire now for the world champs. This morning, our coach told us we'd won 103 medals in history at the world championships and now we've won 105."
Stirnemann and Rissveds, the two favorites, marched steadily through their heats. Both riders rode strategically, obviously saving some effort for the final round.
Clearly motivated in front of her home crowd, Boe Jacobsen sprinted to the front, but Stirnemann wasn't about to let her go and quickly came around her to take over at the front. From then on, it was Stiremann at the front, controlling the race.
Close behind her, Swiss teammate Indergand went around Boe Jacobsen and chased in second.
Rissevds seemed to lack her usual power and was in fourth place, trailing the others from early in the heat. However, she made a resurgence, catching Boe Jacobsen on the final turn, but the two tangled and then Rissveds was the slower to get going afterward.
Boe Jacobsen beamed upon finishing third. "I'm very excited. It was fun to race on my home field," said the Norwegian. "There were a lot of people her cheering me on. It was amazing. My goal was to make it to the final here in Norway. Of ocurse, I can't complain about a bronze medal."
Four of the top five qualifiers made the final, with only Ramona Forchini (Switzerland) missing out; however, she won the small final.
- The eliminator was held at the Maihaugen museeum in Lillehammer, a unique venue containing sample houses from throughout Norway's history. The race course wound through the forested grounds and around a peaceful lake on a chilly September evening.
- Defending eliminator world champion Alexandra Engen (Sweden) did not race. She has missed the second half of the season due to fatigue.
- Scandanavia was well represented in the women's racing with four of the top eight riders, including two Norwegians and two Swedes.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Kathrin Stirnemann (Switzerland)|
|2||Linda Indergand* (Switzerland)|
|3||Ingrid Boe Jacobsen* (Norway)|
|4||Jenny Rissveds* (Sweden)|
|5||Ramona Forchini* (Switzerland)|
|6||Anna Oberparleiter (Italy)|
|7||Elisabeth Sveum (Norway)|
|8||Kajsa Snihs (Sweden)|
|9||Lisa Mitterbauer* (Austria)|
|10||Anne Terpstra (Netherlands)|
|11||Greta Seiwald° (Italy)|
|12||Barbara Benko (Hungary)|
|13||Lucie Vesela (Czech Republic)|
|14||Rachel Pageau* (Canada)|
|15||Kaylee Blevins* (United States Of America)|
|16||Lena Putz* (Germany)|
|17||Emily Parkes* (Australia)|
|18||Holly Harris* (Australia)|
|19||Peta Mullens (Australia)|
|20||Kate Courtney* (United States Of America)|
|21||Shayna Powless* (United States Of America)|
|22||Maaris Meier (Estonia)|
|23||Evelyn Dong (United States Of America)|
|24||Ellie Wale° (Australia)|
|25||Eri Yonamine (Japan)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|6||United States Of America||22|
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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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