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Federspiel, Indergand take first gold medals

On Tuesday, in Vallnord, Andorra, Daniel Federspiel (Austria) finally got the one title missing from his collection - Eliminator world champion. Winner of multiple World Cups, the World Cup overall title and the European title, Federspiel had previously missed out on the rainbow stripes, and he was ecstatic with his win.

The men's field had possibly the greatest depth in the short history of the discipline, with all of the previous world champions on hand - Ralph Naef (Switzerland), Paul van der Ploeg (Australia) and defending champion Fabrice Mels (Belgium). None of them would make the final, showing how strong the competition has become.

32 men qualified for head-to-head racing after a time trial earlier in the day. Starting with the eighth-finals, they raced in heats of four riders at a time, with the top-two moving on to the next round, until there were only four left to race for the final. It was critical on the 900 metre circuit to get the front position before a series of zig-zag turns leading into a singletrack wooded section. A steep climb out of the woods onto the finishing straight left a final opportunity for a fast finisher to possibly move up before the line.

Competition was unexpectedly put on hold for over an hour when the main generator blew after just one quarter final heat. It powered the television broadcast, timing, announcement system and the pits, and everything was shut down while a new generator was rushed into position.

Once competition resumed, there was another short hold, after van der Ploeg went out in a serious crash, hitting a tree. The Australian was taken out on a backboard and then airlifted to hospital. There is no word yet on his condition.

In the final, Federspiel was joined by Samuel Gaze (New Zealand), Simon Gegenheimer (Germany) and Kevin Miquel (France). The Austrian sprinted to the front in the first 100 metres and rode away from the field by the time they hit the singletrack. Behind, Gegenheimer moved into second place, but was challenged in the final sprint by Gaze, who passed him for silver with a bike throw at the line.

"This was my goal the last three years," said an ecstatic Federspiel, "and now my dream comes true. I am so happy. This was one of my best races. I am just so happy. For the final my plan was that I ride in front, so I can choose my own lines. This was my favourite type of finish line, at more than 150 metres. Now I have reached my goal., I have all the titles in this discipline. I am really happy."

"No [the power outage] did not bother me. For every athlete it was the same. It let me relax a little bit more."

Swiss domination in women's Eliminator

Switzerland opened the 2015 Mountain Bike World Championships with a win in Vallnord, Andorra, when last year's silver medalist, Linda Indergand, stepped up to the top step of the podium. Norway's Ingrid Boe Jacobsen spoiled a Swiss 1-2 when she just nipped defending champion Kathrin Stirnemann at the line.

16 women qualified for head-to-head racing after a time trial earlier in the day and dominated the subsequent heats, taking three of the four positions for the final - Indergand, Stirnemann and Ramona Forchini, with Boe Jacobsen grabbing the last spot. In the final, Indergand took the lead into the first corner and opened a sizable gap up the final climb, to cruise to the line. Boe Jacobsen's final 100 metre sprint just put her in front of Stirnemann for the silver medal.

"It felt like I was flying," stated Indergand, "but it was a really tough one. The start was really hard, and then it's overwhelming me now. Really crazy. Three Swiss in the final and that's great. For the sprint you really have some luck, and today was my lucky day. This time I have a bit more luck [after finishing second last year]."  

Full Results

Elite Men - Final
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Daniel Federspiel (Austria)
2Samuel Gaze (New Zealand)
3Simon Gegenheimer (Germany)
4Kevin Miquel (France)
5Titouan Perrin Ganier (France)
6Luca Braidot (Italy)
7Fabrice Mels (Belgium)
8Catriel Andres Soto (Argentina)
9Gert Heyns (South Africa)
10David Horvath (Germany)
11Mirko Tabacchi (Italy)
12Cameron Ivory (Australia)
13Matthias Wengelin (Sweden)
14Jose L. Martinez Ronconi (Argentina)
15Philip Buys (South Africa)
16Paul Van Der Ploeg (Australia)
17Alan Hatherly (South Africa)
18Marcel Wildhaber (Switzerland)
19Lukas Fluckiger (Switzerland)
20Ralph Naef (Switzerland)
21Daniele Braidot (Italy)
22Lorenzo Samparisi (Italy)
23Axel Lindh (Sweden)
24Kirill Tarassov (Estonia)
25Emil Linde (Sweden)
26Jeroen Van Eck (Netherlands)
27Maximilian Vieider (Italy)
28Jan Nesvadba (Czech Republic)
29Santiago Mesa (Colombia)
30Anton Gogolev (Russian Federation)
31Jonathan Mejia (Venezuela)
32Patricio M. Farias Diaz (Chile)

Elite Men - Qualifying
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Fabrice Mels (Belgium)
2Samuel Gaze (New Zealand)
3Alan Hatherly (South Africa)
4Gert Heyns (South Africa)
5Simon Gegenheimer (Germany)
6Kevin Miquel (France)
7Catriel Andres Soto (Argentina)
8Titouan Perrin Ganier (France)
9Matthias Wengelin (Sweden)
10Jose Luciano Martinez Ronconi (Argentina)
11David Horvath (Germany)
12Daniel Federspiel (Austria)
13Philip Buys (South Africa)
14Paul Van Der Ploeg (Australia)
15Mirko Tabacchi (Italy)
16Cameron Ivory (Australia)
17Marcel Wildhaber (Switzerland)
18Lukas Fluckiger (Switzerland)
19Luca Braidot (Italy)
20Emil Linde (Sweden)
21Ralph Naef (Switzerland)
22Jeroen Van Eck (Netherlands)
23Maximilian Vieider (Italy)
24Daniele Braidot (Italy)
25Jan Nesvadba (Czech Republic)
26Lorenzo Samparisi (Italy)
27Axel Lindh (Sweden)
28Santiago Mesa (Colombia)
29Kirill Tarassov (Estonia)
30Anton Gogolev (Russian Federation)
31Jonathan Mejia (Venezuela)
32Patricio Maximiliano Farias Diaz (Chile)
33Tymur Rusiia (Ukraine)
34Besik Gavasheli (Georgia)
35Javier Eduardo Puschel (Chile)
36Heiko Hog (Germany)
DNFAndrea Tiberi (Italy)
DNFMarco Aurelio Fontana (Italy)
DNFSpencer Paxson (United States)

Elite Women - Final
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Linda Indergand (Switzerland)
2Ingrid Boe Jacobsen (Norway)
3Kathrin Stirnemann (Switzerland)
4Ramona Forchini (Switzerland)
5Anne Terpstra (Netherlands)
6Anna Oberparleiter (Italy)
7Nadine Rieder (Germany)
8Chiara Teocchi (Italy)
9Emily Parkes (Australia)
10Greta Seiwald (Italy)
11Iryna Popova (Ukraine)
12Vendula Kuntova (Czech Republic)
13Lisa Mitterbauer (Austria)
14Mariske Strauss (South Africa)
15Xiomara Guerrero (Colombia)
16Serena Calvetti (Italy)

Elite Women - Qualifying
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Anna Oberparleiter (Italy)
2Linda Indergand (Switzerland)
3Kathrin Stirnemann (Switzerland)
4Ingrid Boe Jacobsen (Norway)
5Ramona Forchini (Switzerland)
6Chiara Teocchi (Italy)
7Nadine Rieder (Germany)
8Anne Terpstra (Netherlands)
9Lisa Mitterbauer (Austria)
10Emily Parkes (Australia)
11Mariske Strauss (South Africa)
12Greta Seiwald (Italy)
13Xiomara Guerrero (Colombia)
14Iryna Popova (Ukraine)
15Serena Calvetti (Italy)
16Vendula Kuntova (Czech Republic)
17Maaris Meier (Estonia)
18Mari-Liis Mottus (Estonia)
19Kate Courtney (United States Of America)
20Maria Fernanda Castro Gonzalez (Chile)
21Ida Jansson (Sweden)
DNSEva Lechner (Italy)
DNSSerena Tasca (Italy)
DNSMartina Berta (Italy)


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