Simon Gegenheimer (GER / 32) wins the world championship in mountain bike eliminator sprint in Austria. The German prevailed on the home stretch in Graz against the European champion Jeroen Van Eck (NED / 28) and the Swede Anton Olstam (SWE / 23).
The German Simon Gegenheimer fulfilled his dream of becoming a world champion with a flawless brilliant performance. The venue was the old town of Graz and the course had a treacherous peculiarity with an ascent right before the home straight. But the World Cup leading Gegenheimer also showed all his skills in the fight for the championship title. The German always rode on the right rear wheel with tactical wisdom and trusted in his strength in the final start. “I did it. I've been working hard on myself for 10 years and have already been on a World Cup podium four times. But today I had the shape and the appropriate mental readiness to become world champion”, said the newly crowned title holder after his triumphant run. However, he let his fans tremble until the very last moment, because Gegenheimer only started his overtaking maneuver 50 meters before the finish line and rode past Jeroen Van Eck, who later came second from the Netherlands. “You don't have many chances in such a sprint to the finish. I knew that if everything went well and I put all my energy into one attack, then I could do it”, said Gegenheimer, and that's exactly how he did it. Gegenheimer sat on the European champion's rear wheel 500 meters from the finish and never left a gap. Even on the final ascent, he stayed cool and in the slipstream, so that he had the strength and explosiveness to pull past the home straight out of the last bend.
Gegenheimer’s German team-mate Marion Fromberger (GER / 20) also showed a strong and tactically clever World Championship race. The only 20-year-old rode over the course with the usual combative attitude, but in the end had to be satisfied with fourth place. The winner was the Italian Gaia Tormena, who had dominated the entire season, ahead of the French Noemie Garnier and Iryna Popova from Ukraine. “I am disappointed with my race. I wanted a medal and I couldn't do that today. But it's still a good day because my team became world champion and I'm really happy for Simon”, said Marion Fromberger about her fourth participation in the World Cup.
Both Fromberger and Gegenheimer will compete in the World Cup in Winterberg next week. After all, the new world champion is currently also the leader in the overall World Cup and, despite all his sporting ambitions, will certainly enjoy his first appearance in the rainbow jersey in front of a home audience.