The second day of competition at the European Mountain Bike Championships in Anadia saw an even split of titles between three nations: The Netherlands, Italy and Slovenia won one title each.
The afternoon was saved for the elimination races. In the male sector, there was an exciting duel until the finish line, involving the Slovenian Jakob Klemencic and the Portuguese Ricardo Marinheiro. Riding at home, the Lusitanian dreamed with the gold medal. He came from the “rock garden” accessing the finish line in the front, curved in the front for the final straight and was only beaten in the last meters by the Slovenian. In third place was Romanian Ede-karoly Molnar.
The women’s elimination race saw the announced script. That is, the Italian Gaia Tormena, world champion in this speciality, pulled rank and imposed herself with authority. She was followed by Slovakia’s Terézia Ciriaková and Czech Zuzana Safárová.
The Netherlands triumphed in the mixed relay (XCR), a race in which each country competes with six riders – three men and three women – each making one lap of the circuit and passing the baton to a team mate. Being a race in which cyclists of both genders and from three different age categories line up, it is normal to have changes in the ranking order throughout the race, according to each national team coach choices for each lap.
Despite this natural oscillation, the dominance of the Netherlands was such that they began to lead the race in the second of the six laps, doing it alone from the fourth lap on. Thus, the Dutch won the gold medal with a clear lead, measured in 50 seconds over the Italian team, who took the silver medal. Germany rounded out the podium, 1m39s behind the winning nation.
The weekend is saved for the Olympic cross country (XCO), main races of the sports programme. On Saturday the under-19s compete. At 11am it is the men’s turn, with the women’s race at 2pm.