After the inaugural event in 2010, there was an air of anticipation in the air as the Pro Sprint Eliminator kick started the action at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Pickering last night. And there was an extra incentive for this year’s race as riders went into the evening in the knowledge that should they perform well, they would receive UCI points that would count towards qualification at the London Olympic Games in 2012.
A packed out crowd watched on as the Dalby World Cup began its weekend of world class mountain bike action in glorious sunshine in Pickering with Britain’s Annie Last and Tracey Moseley – two of the standout performers in the evening’s racing. Last looked in scintillating form throughout, qualifying fastest and going on to finish second with a highly impressive performance.
Tracey Moseley – the downhill World Champion – also looked in impressive touch as she finished an impressive seventh after helping Last recover from a slipped pedal in the semi final. Both will now hope to perform well again in Sunday’s Elite Women race.
Heading the men’s competition was last year’s winner from the Elite Men’s race at Dalby, Nino Schurter who joined the likes of mountain bike legend Brian Lopes on the start line, but it was the giant like figure of Australian Paul Van Der Ploeg who prevailed in the end after fighting off the challenge of the crowd pleaser – Marco Fontana and last year’s Pro Sprint Eliminator winner, Thomas Litscher.
The action continues today at the Dalby World Cup as mountain bike enthusiasts take on the challenge of the World Cup course in the citizen’s Dalby Dare event. GB’s Dave Fletcher will take his place on the start line in the Men’s U23 race by looking to improve on his eight position in South Africa and Grant Ferguson, Bethany Crumpton, Katy Winton race in the respective Men and Women’s junior events.