UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Round 3
Val di Sole, Italy
13 June 2013
Report: Eddie Allen
British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme Athlete Kenta Gallagher had to settle for the 1/8 finals in the XCE Eliminator event at Val Di Sole, Italy, after a mid race attacking move failed to pay off.
After an emphatic win in the previous round in Czech Republic, hopes were high for the rider from Inverness, who has been fast tracked onto the Podium programme for the 2013 season.
Gallagher was 19th fastest in the qualification round, losing time after accidentally unclipping, and went off in the penultimate 1/8 final heat. Gallagher started his eighth final well, slotting into third position in the opening section and up the Val di Sole course's steep climb, with the valley bathed in glorious, sweltering sunshine.
Kenta was poised to make his move as the course dropped into the technical downhill section, attempting to overtake second placed Thibault Geneste (FRA) going into the bermed righthander, squashing the jump and going up the inside. Inevitably, he ran wide and tangled with Geneste, losing momentum over the log section and letting fourth placed Julian Schelb (GER) through on the inside. From this point on there was no way back, with Fabien Canal (FRA) taking the heat ahead of the Schelb, Gallagher finishing third and exiting the competition.
Come the final and Austrian Dan Federspiel, riding for Otztal Scott, went onto take the win ahead of Slovakian Miha Halzer.
Gallagher finished 21st overall and following a DNF in round one and win in round two, the British rider lies in 4th place in the overall XCE standings on 60 points, 80 points adrift of leader Federspiel. Gallagher will go on to contest the U23 XCO event at the weekend.
British Cycling Olympic Development (ODP) coach Simon Watts took a team of Development riders to Val di Sole, with Michael Thompson, Iain Paton, Jack Ravenscroft and Sam Stean all gaining experience in the XCE Eliminator event, which enjoys full UCI World Cup status for the first time this year.