Spaniard David Campos and Swiss Ronja Blöchlinger won today the elite titles in the short track cross country (XCC) discipline of the European Mountain Bike Championships, held in Anadia, Portugal.
The men’s and women’s races could not have been more different. Among the men, there was a lot of equilibrium and everything was decided in the sprint. Among the women, the Swiss superiority started early.
In the men it was a large group that kept the head of the race until near the end, despite some attacks in the first third of the race. When the group of aspirants to the title still had almost ten elements, at the entrance to the last of the nine laps, David Campos attacked and made the first triage.
But the acceleration was not enough to isolate the Spaniard, who had to work hard to beat Frenchman Adrien Boichis in the sprint. Third, just one second behind, was Swiss rider Thomas Litscher.
The elite women’s peloton remained expectant in the first half of the race, with the riders marking themselves and taking no risks. However, as we entered the second half of the race, Switzerland’s Ronja Blöchlinger and Noëlle Buri stepped up the pace. Frenchwoman Noemie Garnier dared to follow the Swiss.
With the race under control, the Swiss duo decided to speed up again with two laps to go. They were alone in the lead going into the last lap. Ronja Blöchlinger showed herself to be stronger in the final section and revalidated the title which she had won in Anadia last year.
Noëlle Buri took the silver medal, 5 seconds behind her compatriot. Noemie Garnier paid a high price for trying to keep up with the strongest, giving up the bronze medal to the German Kira Böhm, who, with a more controlled race, kept her strength to reach the podium.
The competition program continues on Friday, day of Team relay (XCR). Friday’s single race is scheduled for 3pm (Portuguese time)