The 2014 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships in Hafjell, Norway, opened on Tuesday with the first titles awarded in the Eliminator. Kathrin Stirnemann gave Switzerland their first title of the championships in the women’s competition, while Fabrice Mels of Belgium took the men’s gold medal–his GoPro also captured the entirety of the race, which unfolded just in front of him until the final corner.
“I had a very bad start and I was trying to keep up the pace and to pass Emil (Lindgren) because he had a quite big gap to Kevin (Miquel),” said Mels. “Then, at the end, Lindgren came on the inside of Kevin and they crashed, so I had the way open to the finish line.”
Mels qualified fastest and won his first two races, before finishing second to Kevin Miquel (France) in the semi-final that put both riders into the medal race. They were joined by Emil Lindgren (Sweden) and Daniel Federspiel (Austria) for the final.
Federspiel got off to a fast start, but then his rear wheel broke and he crashed into Miquel, holding up the rest of the riders. Miquel was the first to get going and opened a sizable gap before Lindgren began to close in the second half of the race. In the final sharp left turn, Lindgren attempted to cut inside of Miquel, catching his pedal in the French rider’s wheel and giving Mels a clear path to victory. Lindgren took second ahead of a very disappointed Miquel.
The event was held in the unique historic village of Maihaugen, on the outskirts of Lillehammer, which offers examples of Norwegian architecture going back hundreds of years. The 840 metre course has everything from gravel road, to rocks and roots, drops and banked turns.