GEPA Pictures – LowResGEPA 20210905 101 127 0051
GEPA Pictures – LowResGEPA 20210905 101 127 0051

Graz Greatests: Simon Gegenheimer and Gaia Tormena are the 2021 UCI MTB XCE World Champions!

GEPA Pictures – LowResGEPA 20210905 101 127 0051
GEPA Pictures – LowResGEPA 20210905 101 127 0051

Graz Greatests: Simon Gegenheimer and Gaia Tormena are the 2021 UCI MTB XCE World Champions!

An incredible home crowd, a perfect Indian summer day, and two well-earned winners: the 2021 UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Championships in the Austrian city of Graz were a charm. German veteran Simon Gegenheimer and Italian youngster Gaia Tormena will enjoy a year in the rainbow shirt.

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GEPA Pictures – LowResGEPA 20210905 101 127 0042

Grazie Graz!

After missing last year’s UCI world title with inches, Italy’s youngest star Gaia Tormena never lost grip in the 2021 rainbow fight in Graz. ‘Torpedo’ Tormena won the qualifying time-trial with over three seconds of advantage, managed a clean sweep in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, and controlled the final race from start to finish, winning her second UCI world title with a big margin.

French Noemie Garnier was the surprise of the day with a silver medal, preceding Ukrainian Iryna Popova. Marion Fromberger (GER) just missed out on the podium, while Ella Holmegaard (SWE) took fifth place home in the small final, after almost crashing out in her semi-final.

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GEPA Pictures – LowResGEPA 20210905 101 127 0064

Moustache marks his highlight

Just like last year’s race in Leuven, Lorenzo Serres set the fastest time in the qualifying time-trials, but the French bomb was eliminated during ¼ finals. It were disastrous quarter-finals for France, with also defending UCI world champ Titouan Perrin-Ganier out of the race, due to a broken chain.

In an exciting final, European champion Jeroen van Eck from The Netherlands was setting pressure from the start, but after executing the last corner and final straight perfectly, UCI World Cup leader Simon Gegenheimer stormed to his first ever UCI world title, the absolute highlight of a long and rich career.

Van Eck (silver) and Swedish Anton Olstam (bronze) completed the podium, German Felix Klausmann and French Hugo Briatta made it into the top five. Local hero Daniel Federspiel gave a big show in front of his home public, getting eighth place in the end.

MOUNTAIN BIKE – UCI MTB Eliminator WC 2021
MOUNTAIN BIKE – UCI MTB Eliminator WC 2021

Gegenheimer ‘sitting on a high’

“I’m on a high”, 32-year-old Simon Gegenheimer smiled after the absolute highlight of his career. “I’ve won the overall UCI World Cup title, seven World Cup races and four UCI World Championship’s medals, but never the title. Right now, I’ve got my career completed. This was everything that I wanted, and now I have it!”

“This venue was great. After every corner, there were lots of spectators shouting for all of us, not only the Austrian riders. It was so cool to be back in front of a crowd. Too bad, I wasn’t too fast in the qualifying time-trial, so I had to do the race from the back. Luckily, in the final, I’ve felt Jeroen slowing down in the climb. I had to ride the last corner clean and tight, to accelerate sooner and faster. And it worked out perfectly!”

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GEPA Pictures – LowResGEPA 20210905 101 127 0058

Tormena ‘thanks all people from Graz’

“I am so happy to be back in the rainbow. I really wanted this title back. I had something to prove to myself, after last year’s UCI World Championships”, Gaia Tormena enjoyed her second world title, after the one from 2019. “It was so beautiful to do this with the fans cheering for us. Racing without public last year was quite sad. I have to thank all people from Graz for cheering for us: it was incredible.”

“I worked hard for months, wanting to be in the front of this race from the first metres, and so I did. I kept control during all the race. That’s something I’ve worked on for long, together with my mental coach. As long as you’re in control, you’re able to control yourself too. Once you go over the limit, there’s lots of risks. It worked out, with big thanks to the super team behind me!”

Results - UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Championships Graz

Men’s results – UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Championships Graz

1. Simon Gegenheimer (GER)
2. Jeroen van Eck (NLD)
3. Anton Olstam (SWE)
4. Felix Klausmann (GER)
5. Hugo Briatta (FRA)

Women’s results – UCI Mountain Bike Eliminator World Championships Graz

1. Gaia Tormena (ITA)
2. Noemie Garnier (FRA)
3. Iryna Popova (UKR)
4. Marion Fromberger (GER)
5. Ella Holmegard (SWE)

FULL RESULTS

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