Marion Fromberger (GER/18) returns from Graz in Austria after securing a place on the winners’ rostrum for the overall World Cup Mountain Bike rankings. The 18-year-old finished fifth in the last stage of the 2019 sprint World Cup.
Graz in Austria set the stage for the last event of the 2019 sprint World Cup. The race also marked the end of the very first World Cup season for Marion Fromberger, who got the year off to a brilliant start with a victory in Barcelona. It turned out to be another challenging race in Austria, not only because of the usual artificial obstacles and jumps. The riders also had to overcome a 12% climb over cobblestones.
Fromberger started the race from the front, but then concentrated more on securing a place on the podium for the overall World Cup rankings. “I noticed pretty early in the race – on the climb – that my legs weren’t as strong as they could be. You can’t be too emotional about it when that happens, so I just tried to focus on the overall picture and the main goal. I knew I’d be home and dry on the podium if I could secure fifth position, so that goal was more important to me than the result on the day,” explains the young German with increasing strategic thinking. Fromberger tucked in behind her main competitors and was in exactly the position that counted as she crossed the finishing line: fifth. The last race of the World Cup season was won by Swedish rider Ella Holmegaard, who managed to squeeze ahead of world champion Gaia Tormena (ITA/18) in the final metres.
In the men’s event, Hugo Briatta (FRA/24), who already dominated races all season, was also the strongest rider in the final race. The Frenchman controlled the field from the front and won the race in Graz by an impressive margin. Simon Gegenheimer finished his World Cup year in eighth position and feels the overall season was a positive and important stepping stone for the future: “You have to remember that our team almost completely changed its sponsorship portfolio at the beginning of the year. The technical setup means we’re riding new bikes and we’ve got new suspension and new wheel suppliers. It all takes time to readjust,” explains the overall 2017 World Cup winner, who also notched up one World Cup win in the current season. Looking to the future, Gegenheimer says he would like to achieve more consistency in the saddle: “I’d like to get back to competing for the white jersey again next year. Winning the entire World Cup is a big thing. You have to be really well prepared for it, but not just in terms of fitness. It’s also about everything around you and I reckon I’ll have that kind of positive environment around me in 2020,” says Gegenheimer.
The 2020 seasons kicks off with the sprint World Cup in Dubai, a city Gegenheimer is already familiar with through his team and partners. Team manager Kerstin Thum also has her sights set on next year and feels optimistic about the future: “We’re already busy planning and we want to take to the pedals in top form when the season gets underway in March. There’s a lot to do, but the whole team’s got the right mindset.”