XCO Champions 2011, photo Grega Stopar
“We will come back next year and bring our friends with us,” were the words of many riders that had left the venue of the 2011 European MTB Masters Championships. Kranjska Gora, a well known winter and summer resort in Slovenia, hosted this competition for the second time after 2009 and again we saw great racing on the slopes of Vitranc mountain. Fourteen titles were awarded to riders from 7 countries; one in downhill to a local rider..
They are called masters, but they are still very fast and have no fear when it comes to tricky terrain. At least most of them, some of the competitors are there to have fun and enjoy the event that brings together riders from all over Europe. This assures intense racing for the podium and also racing with friends and long term rivals. At the same time the event is a great opportunity to take some time off from the daily routine, have a short holiday and enjoy great nature of Kranjska Gora, including the bike park, one of the biggest in this part of Europe.
XC with amazing times
Technical and physically demanding cross-country course in Kranjska Gora presented a problem for many riders, but not for the masters at the top of each age group. Strongest races were in the youngest groups 30-34 and 35-39 years where the fastest set some amazing lap times. Fastest rider Laurent Spiesser from France was the fastest of the day and took the title in the 30-34 years group, but Italians got an excuse for the biggest party – their riders have won four out of seven titles.
Perfect conditions for downhill finals
After some rain on Friday the course was drying out by the hour and for the Sunday finals it was just perfect for racing. Top forest section with many roots and clay surface still presented a problem for many, white the last pedaling section was just as tough. Just like in the cross-country we witnessed some super fast runs and again the fastest rider of the day came from France. Yoann Paccard took the title in the 30-34 years group with the only time under 3 minutes. In the same group Slovenian Rok Podbevšek was third and saved the honour of the hosting nation. Other titles went to Austria, Belgium, France & Great Britain.
See you in 2012
With another successful international event under the belt organizers are already thinking about the 2012 – next year European MTB Masters XCO & DHI Championships will come back to the same venue in Kranjska Gora. With so much positive feedback and excitement we can hope for an even bigger event with more riders.
European Masters Champions – Cross Country, Kranjska Gora / 25th June 2011
30-34 years - Laurent Spiesser (Fra, Batibois Alsace)
35-39 years - Massimo Folcarelli (Ita, ASD Dream Team)
40-44 years - Carlo Manfredi Zaglio (Ita, Team Todesco ASD)
45-49 years - Nereo Canale (Ita, Scavezzon Squadre Corse)
50-54 years - Matthias Ball (Ger, Trek Domatec)
55+ years - Benny Andrersson (Swe, Trek Sweden Racing)
Women - Samira Todone (Ita, Caprivesi)
European Masters Champions – Downhill, Kranjska Gora / 26th June 2011
30-34 years - Yoann Paccard (Fra)
35-39 years - Laurent Georges (Bel, Windose Granville Houffalize)
40-44 years - Eddy Mollier (Fra, CK Racing Santa Cruz)
45-49 years - Alastair MacLennan (GB, Nukeproof)
50-54 years - Max Schuster (Aut, Muskelkater Genesis)
55+ years - Patrick Sicard (Fra, ASEC)
Women - Birgit Braumann (Aut, Specialized Mountainbiker.at)
DHI Champions 2011, photo Grega Stopar