UCI E-XCO World Championships
Finally the time had come after the two World Cup races in Nove Mesto my real highlight of the season was on the program: The UCI E-XCO World Championship. An additional motivation for the race was that I was able to start with a new bike from BERGSTROM (short video on Instagram). The last weeks I could test it intensively and in my opinion it’s the best bike for the E-XCO race. It’s very light, agile and still super controllable in technically difficult downhills.
Before the race it rained extremely hard and the rather easy track became a big challenge for rider, material and support staff. Just what I like!
My goal for the race was actually clear, I wanted to compete for the World Championship title or at least win a medal for Switzerland. At the start there were some well-known riders, who already competed in the UCI E-XCO World Cup in Monaco and also newcomers in the E-MTB sport. For example, the multiple cross-country bike World Champion and MTB-U23 World Cup winner Thomas Pidcock from England and the Dane Simon Andreassen, who won his first Elite World Cup in Nove Mesto last week. Both are extremely strong cyclists and accordingly I could not appreciate them at all on their E-XCO debut.
I had a great start and was able to pull away immediately with another rider (Jerome Gilloux). I knew the rider from the UCI E-XCO World Cup in Monaco. He had won the race there and became vice world champion last year.
On the climb I was clearly stronger than Gilloux, but in the downhill I always had to risk a lot to not lose too much time. This risk and the fact that Pidcock and Andreassen were literally flying from behind meant that I suffered a front wheel defect at the end of the second last lap.
Despite a quick wheel change and a spirited chase in the last lap, my dream of a world championship medal was shattered. I would have loved to fight with the other four riders until the last lap.
My goal was the World Championship title or at least to win a medal, so after the race my 5th place felt like a defeat.
I would have loved to fight for a medal until the end.
Basically, it doesn’t sound bad when I remember that I’m the fifth fastest E-MTB rider in the world. The race for the medals would certainly have been extremely tough and close for me, even without a defect, but I would have liked to have fought till the end of the race to see what would really have been possible. For the reasons I’ve mentioned above, disappointment currently outweighs.
Nevertheless, I’m extremely motivated for the next season. The new E-MTB discipline has given me as an ambitious athlete a completely new challenge and showed me what is possible with a bike. The limits of the possible have been raised extremely. Furthermore, it’s a huge motivation if you can constantly improve. I also like the challenge of bringing riders from all disciplines together, so you never know exactly what to expect at the next race.
Many thanks to BERGSTROM for their trust and also to the employees of the engine manufacturer Bosch for answering my numerous and critical questions.