Bolstered by the world titles she had won at the 2012 and 2013 World Youth Games, Reichenbach made an impressive entry into the Elite category at the weekend. In taking victory in the opening round of the 2014 UCI Trials World Cup, the young athlete beat title holder and World Champion Tatiana Janickova, and European Champion and multiple World Champion Gemma Abant.
The two experienced women couldn’t match the ardour of youth and fought for second and third places. Thanks to her two excellent first laps, the Slovak rider Janickova squeezed out the Spaniard on the zero count, 9 against 11, but both women are four points behind Reichenbach. Switzerland’s Debi Studer finished a close fourth. Kristina Sykorova, Lua Vizcaino and Perrine Devahive, who were among the favourites for the podium, finished more than 10 points from the third step.
Elite Men 26 inch: Successful comeback for Giacomo Coustellier
Five Frenchmen, a Belgian, an Englishman and a Spaniard qualified for the Final, with the first four riders winning their tickets for the Super Final. The big surprise was to see multiple World Champion Gilles Coustellier finish in a disappointing fifth place, ruling out his contention for the podium. However Giacomo Coustellier, making a comeback after two years of knee injuries, dominated the competition to win the World Cup opener. It was his first World Cup win since 2003, when he also won the world title.
Junior World Champion Jack Carthy (19) of Great Britain, did all he could to make up for his 3-point deficit after the Final, but was still 1 point behind the French rider. There was an exciting duel for third place between the French riders Vincent Hermance and Kevin Aglaé. Finally, the reigning World Champion Hermance didn’t give his countryman a chance, and took the third place on the podium. Kevin Aglaé had his best result in a UCI World Cup with his 4th place. Behind Gilles Coustellier in 5th, is Rafa Tibau Roura (ESP), Clément Meot (FRA) and Icia van den Bergh (BEL).
Elite Men 20 inch: battle of the champions
Reigning World Champion Abel Mustieles (ESP) was neck and neck with the multiple World Champion Benito Ros (ESP) until the end of the first lap of the Final. However, during the second lap Ros made a mistake that cost him 5 points. He finished 8 points behind his fellow countryman, who recorded the perfect lap with zero points. Behind them, Rick Koekoek (NED) achieved the best performance which put him in third place with an important lead of 5 points over Ion Areitio (ESP). He improved that lead during the Super Final, enabling him to climb onto the podium. The other finalists were Lucien Leiser (SUI) – his best result at this level – Raphael Pils (GER), Benjamin Durville (FRA) – his first Final of a World Cup – and Lucas Krell (GER). These four young talented pilots could soon challenge the current hierarchy.
The outcome of the Super Final didn’t changed the rankings. Abel Mustieles, with his convincing win, naturally donned the UCI leader’s jersey in front of Ros, Koekoek and Areitio.
The next encounter will take place in France at the end of July for the Pra Loup round, one of the classics of the UCI Trials World Cup.