Daniel Federspiel and Linda Indergand take the glory
Tuesday afternoon saw the awarding of the first Rainbow Jerseys of 2015 in the Cross Country Eliminator.
Cross Country Eliminator (XCE) is a minority format that was short lived on the World Cup circuit but has remained in the World Championships since its inception in 2012.
The race pits four cross country riders against each other over a distance of roughly 1km. The riders are eliminated through a heats system similar to 4x and then the winner in the final is the first across the line.
This year’s World Championships took place on a 900 metre course that started with wide grassy turns before a forested motorway section with different line choices before an uphill sprint back to the start. While it wasn’t necessarily technical, the steep gradients made for some exciting racing never-the-less.
The final was contested between Miquel (France), Gegenheimer (Germany), Gaze (New Zealand) and Federspeil (Austria). Federspeil was the fastest to snap out of the gate and had the inside line going in to the first corner. He extended his lead through the grassy turns and the woods as Gaze and Gegenheimer squabbled for second place.
Gaze out-sprinted Gegenheimer up the climb to secure second place but diodn’t quite have enough left in his legs to challenge Federspeil for the win. Federspeil collapsed over the line and described the victory as a “dream come true”.
The women’s final was a show of Swiss domination as three of the lanes were taken up by its riders. Forchini, Strinemann and Indergand were only split by Boe Jacobsen, who was representing Norway.
Boe Jacobsen actually got the snap out of the gate fastest but was shut out of the second corner by Indergand. Indergand soon pulled out a significant lead and didn’t look troubled for the rest of the race. Boe Jacobsen was just able to hold off Strinemann on the line to secure her second place finish.