Great finish of Mels and Popova in Winterberg

In General | on September 16, 2018

Iryna Popova clinches first World Cup of the year after a great solo!

Fabrice Mels wins after a spectacular late attack and moves up to 5th place in the overall standings.

The fifth round of the UCI MTB Eliminator World Cup in Winterberg (Germany), saw Ukraine rider Iryna Popova and Belgian champion Fabrice Mels win their first XCE World Cup of the season. Among the riders in the men’s competition was country’s own, last year’s overall World Cup winner Simon Gegenheimer who raced brilliantly to get to the final encouraged by the crowd. However, after a tight battle between Fabrice Mels and Jeroen Van Eck, Gegenheimer had to settle for third, ahead of Dutch rider Lehvi Braam who came in fourth place.

In the women’s competition, the title went to Ukraine rider Iryna Popova, who repeated her good form, ahead of Ingrid Boe Jacobsen and Ella Holmegard. Fourth place went to French rider Manon Winner.

European champion Iryna Popova was the strongest in the women’s competition, as she was soloing to victory from the start onwards. She realised it was the perfect day for her: “I’m so happy to win here. It’s been a great year – I won the European Championships XCE and managed to get second the day after at the XCE World Cup in Graz, Austria. Honestly, I didn’t expect to win in Winterberg.”

Fabrice Mels won the men’s race, ahead of Dutch champion Jeroen van Eck and German champion Simon Gegenheimer. World Cup leader Jeroen van Eck had won qualifying and was favoured to win the men’s race. He got overtaken by Belgian rider Fabrice Mels when entering the final meters and settled for second. “The hill towards the finish line was quite tough, it was hard to retain the lead”, Jeroen van Eck told us afterwards.

All eyes were on Ingrid Boe Jacobsen, as she extended her lead in the women’s series by beating rival Ella Holmegard for 2nd place. Ingrid Boe Jacobsen is now 67 points ahead going into next week’s sixth round in Antwerp, Belgium. In the men’s competition, Jeroen van Eck now leads with 178 points. UCI World Champion Titouan Perrin-Ganier and Lorenzo Serres both sit second at 123 points, followed by Simon Gegenheimer (121 points).

The next round of the 2018 UCI MTB Eliminator World Cup will be held in Antwerp (Belgium) on September 23. It is going to be a tough week with a little rest before they take on the finals in Congonhas (Brazil) at the end of November.

Men’s results – Round 5 – UCI MTB Eliminator World Cup Winterberg (GER)

1. Fabrice Mels (BEL)
2. Jeroen van Eck (NED)
3. Simon Gegenheimer (GER)
4. Lehvi Braam (NED)

Women’s results – Round 5 – UCI MTB Eliminator World Cup Winterberg (GER)

1. Iryna Popova (UKR)
2. Ingrid Boe Jacobsen (NOR)
3. Ella Holmegard (SWE)
4. Manon Wimmer (FRA)

Full results can be found here