After finishing second at last year’s World Championship, Iana Belomoina wins the women’s U23 Cross-Country race ahead of European sprint champion Jenny Rissveds and Germany’s Helen Grobert. The Swiss team’s hopes rested on Jolanda Neff. She finished fourth, just outside of the medals. Junior World Champion Andrea Waldis surprised, coming in fifth.
The new European Champion was elated: “I am really surprised that I could beat Jolanda Neff and Jenny Rissveds, both riding very strongly. Winning here is a huge success.” Just last week the Ukrainian had won the U23 World Cup race in Val di Sole and she was thus one of today’s big favorites.
Jenny Rissveds’ silver medal however is quite astounding. She had already participated in the team relay on Thursday, finishing sixth with her Swedish teammates. On Friday, she won the gold medal in the first ever Eliminator competition at a European championship. Today’s second place was even for her quite amazing: “I was tired after yesterday’s race and didn’t think that my legs would carry me all the way to a medal. My goal was to finish in the top ten. But driving up here on the Gurten was so much fun, I could mobilize all of my reserves.”
Jolanda Neff was completely exhausted at the finish line. She lost the bronze medal to Helen Grobert on the last climb. “I didn’t really know what to expect in the U23 race because I’ve been driving in the elite throughout the season. I planned to cycle at my own speed, but when my opponents overtook me, it was tough to keep up with their pace.” Nef doubted whether it was the right decision not to start in yesterday’s Eliminator race, her winning the silver medal at the World Championships: “Rissveds showed that it is possible to perform on the highest level two days in a row.
Result U23 Women (26,6 km)
1. Iana Belomoina (UKR) 1:20:38. 2. Jenny Rissveds (Swe) 1:13. 3. Helen Grobert (De) 1:41. 4. Jolanda Neff (Thal) 2:26. 5. Andrea Waldis (Morschach) 3:12. 6. Lisa Mitterbauer (Aut) 3:33. 7. Ekaterina Anoshina (Rus) 3:47. 8. Anne Tepstra (Ho) 4:30. 9. Linda Indergand (Silenen) 5:03. 10. Lena Putz (De) 5:31. Ferner: 13. Ramona Forchini (Wattwil) 8:59. 17. Michelle Hedinger (Oberkulm) 11:14.