Danish Withen Philipsen won the junior men’s olympic cross country (XCO) race this morning in Anadia and became European champion, ahead of Dutchman Freek Bouten and Norwegian Sivert Ekroll, who completed the final podium.
The 16-year-old took the lead of the race at the end of the fourth lap and didn’t let go of the first place until the end, having finished the seven laps (1 start loop + 1 start lap + 5 laps) in 1h05m04.877s, ensuring another gold medal for Denmark. Freek Bouten and Sivert Ekroll came in 54.353 and 58.103 seconds later, respectively.
The first lead of the race belonged to Frenchman Julien Hemon, who took the lead at the start loop and led the beginning of the race, disputing the first places with Mikkel Lose (Denmark) and Leo Lounela (Sweden) in the first laps. On the fourth lap, Withen Philipsen jumped from eighth to first place and Freek Bouten took over second place, a scenario that continued until the end of the race.
The battle was intense for third place, with Norway’s Sivert Ekroll, Italy’s Elian Paccagnella and France’s Julien Hemon fighting for the last podium spot. On the last lap, Sivert Ekroll took bronze, while Hemon dropped to eighth and Paccagnella to fifth, having been overtaken by fellow Dane Nikolaj Hougs, who finished fourth.
Saturday’s European Mountain Bike Championships will only be complete with the junior women’s XCO race, scheduled for 2 pm.