No sooner is the drama of the UCI World Champs finished than the traditional thrills and spills of the European Cross-country Championships are upon us, and there are three Mondraker riders ready to compete!
Monte Tamaro, Switzerland, is hosting the event this weekend after the original dates in Graz, Austria, had been postponed due to the protocol to fight the Covid pandemic. Primafloor-Mondraker-XSauce rider Anton Sintsov is ready to take on the tough course and the best of Europe’s XC riders, this weekend in his national colors of Russia, and he will be joined by two Junior team-mates for the weekend’s finals.
It’s the first time the Euro’s has been held in Switzerland since 2013 and the first time that Monte Tamaro has hosted it since 2003, and follows last year’s event in Brno, Czech Republic. The full set of Team Relays, Juniors, U23 and Elite races are coming up, 15-18 October – and it’s the Elite Men we’re really looking forward to on the afternoon of Saturday 17th.
Russia’s experienced Olympian Anton is looking to springboard his performance at the Worlds, which was a crazy challenge for Anton and the other competitors, thanks to the effect of the weather on the new course:
“The world championship ended in 39th place. I had a good start and had a lot of fun on the technical and slippery parts, but I missed my climbing legs on this really hard course.” he reflected.
The tough race in Austria has helped Anton to condition and look forward!
And looking forward to the next wave of riding talent, there are two Juniors who will also race their Mondrakers in the Euro’s this weekend: Francesc Barber and Sara Méndez. Both are Spanish riders, and both turned 18 earlier this year. Francesc fought to 29th position in a tough first XCO Worlds in Leogang last week, and Sarah to 35th. The Junior Men XCO is on Sunday morning while the Junior Women XCO follows the same afternoon.
Githa Michiels – bronze medalist at the 2018 European Championships Elite Women race in Graz, made the wise and responsible decision to withdraw, with the Belgian rider isolating as a precaution after a team member recently tested positive for Covid-19. It’s frustrating for any racer, but of course the right thing to do this year, to prioritise the health and safety not just of the riders and their support teams, but also the volunteers, organisers, fans and public.
Let’s enjoy more XC racing! TV coverage here.