Mount Vitranc above Kranjska Gora once more hosted the best European masters riders racing for titles in both downhill and cross-country. In two days of racing some new champions were crowned, some defended their titles and we even got a double DH/XC champion.
Riders from 21 European countries took part in MTB Masters Championships in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia; the venue already hosted European elite and junior downhill championships in 2009 and Masters championships in 2009 and 2011. For the second time in the row the titles were awarded in both cross-country and downhill; first on schedule were gravity riders.
Fastest among one hundred downhill riders was Austrian Rüdiger Jahnel in the age group 30-34 years, who was challenged also by the Slovenian riders, but in the end none could come close. Host country still won two medals: Saša Merljak was second in the age group 35-39 years and B (also the event director) finished third in the 50-54 years group.
Special honors in the downhill race go to Scottish rider Alastair MacLennan who won the title in all three championships in Kranjska Gora. Fastest women on course was Austrian Birgit Braumann – she was fast on technical sections and had no problems with pedaling and on Sunday we found out why. She entered also the cross-country race and won the race with a big margin ahead of Italian Chiara Selva.
On Sunday it was time for cross-country and as in the past the Italian riders prevailed. Their riders won in three categories and they also had the fastest man on course. Massimo Folcarelli became the champion in the 35-39 years age group for the second time in a row. In the first part of the race Massimo rode together with French Laurent Spiesser, also a defending champion in the youngest group 30-34 years, but in the middle he attacked and won the race with a great margin. Slovenian Robert Kordež took second place behind Folcarelli and claimed silver for the hosting country.
Kranjska Gora will host the European MTB masters championships again in 2014.