He's not one of the best - he's the best right now. The reigning world champion Simon Gegenheimer shows his extra class at the World Cup in Leuven/ Belgium and wins the rain race on cobblestones. His German teammate Marion Fromberger was fourth.
The world champion Simon Gegenheimer (GER/33) rides to the World Cup victory on the cobblestone course in Belgium with composure. The same cobblestones that brought him to the World Cup victory in 2021. This year, however, under completely different conditions, because 2022 was characterized by a wet and extremely slippery race track. “It was like being at the ice rink. I wanted to dominate the field from the front, keep an overview and slow down a bit in the corners that were critical for me. What can I say, the plan worked", said the world champion to the eighth World Cup success of his career. Incidentally, the first for him in the rainbow jersey of the world champion. Not everything seemed clear from the outset. Gegenheimer himself had to get off the pedal once at the start of the race after slipping away in a banked corner. In addition, the wheels of his rivals banged to his left and right, because both Lorenzo Serres (FRA) and the winner from Abu Dhabi, Titouan Perrin-Ganier (FRA), were already at eye level with Gegenheimer. But the German always kept calm: “In a World Cup, you should never allow yourself to be distracted from your focus. But in a wet race like this, coolness and composure are top priority. I saw Lorenzo next to me, but I knew that this maneuver was very risky for him. I just focused on my thing and carried it through to the end", said the winner from Belgium. This success put Gegenheimer in second place in the UCI World Ranking.
Gegenheimer's teammate Marion Fromberger (GER/21) is not only 10 years younger, but also has somewhat less expertise in terms of racing experience. The professional athlete, who is also employed as a mountain bike manager in the Aalen town hall, wanted to try it on the home stretch, but a fall thwarted her plans, as in Abu Dhabi. Fromberger's front wheel slipped in a left turn and the first three were rushed. The 21-year- old was able to save fourth place, but this did not gloss over her disappointment at the finish. "It was nothing, almost embarrassing. I guess I still have a lot to learn”, was her first statement right after the crash at the finish. In the overall standings, however, the 21-year-old's fourth place in the world is far from embarrassing, but it shows her international aspirations and the will to do the same as her team-mate and, in the long run, to become the best in the world. Fromberger will travel straight on to the Cross Country World Cup, the medium-long distance, in Leogang/Austria. Conversely, Gegenheimer will skip it and regenerate, because in 14 days another sprint in Sweden is on the racing schedule of the Mountainbike Racingteam.
By the way, the second place in the World Cup in Abu Dhabi was not at the start in Belgium. The Mountainbike Racingteam decided to send the Mexican Daniel Castillo Noyola into the race at the Pan- American Championships. This decision was rewarded with a silver medal. “I am very grateful to my team that I was able to compete here in Argentina. The Pan-American Games are an important statement and an exclamation mark for sport on my continent,” says the Mexican, who will again compete with his teammates at the Germany World Cup in Aalen.