10 Sep World MTB champs crowned
Lausanne – This past weekend saw the grand finale of the 2018 UCI Mountain Bike World Championship. The 29th edition of the event, took place from 5 to 9 September, in the resort village of Lenzerheide.
Organising committee Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), says 716 riders from 55 countries, were scheduled to descend onto the mountainous district, located in Switzerland’s eastern region.
Under-23 all the way to Elite downhill and cross-country riders took part. Sponsor logos and national flags lined the streets and downhill tracks while thousands of screaming spectators witnessed some of the worlds best compete in a range of timed races.
Intense uphill climbs and quick sprints resulted in the host nation’s Team Relay, winning gold in the opening rounds. While some of the other victories, such as the under-23 men and women’s cross-country races were equally rousing. South Africa’s Alan Hatherly won his first gold medal. While crowd favourites, Alessandra Keller and Sina Frei earned a hard-fought first and second place respectively.
No pain, no gain
America’s Kate Courtney snapped up the final Elite stages of the women’s cross-country race, to claim her first victory. While Swiss rider and nearby resident Nino Schurter took pole along with his seventh UCI MTB world title. Meanwhile, Frenchman Loic Bruni defended his crown, by clenching his third downhill MTB win.
Another acclaimed rider, Britain’s Rachel Atherton also struck gold by winning her stage of the race, for the fifth time. These Elite victories, however, did not come easy. In a statement released on UCI’s website, Atherton said, “I knew it was going to be a hard race and that I had to be fast. All the way down I thought I was going to crash.”
Revered by action-sports fans the world over, while rewarding, the downhill championships don’t come without risk. Witness Atherton’s daring run below. Catapulting herself across the finish line in just over three minutes.