Great Britain’s Kenta Gallagher bowed out of the men’s cross-country eliminator competition at the quarter-final stages after falling on a bend.
Gallagher was in second in his heat when he misjudged his line, slipping off his bike with no time to recover. The British Cycling Academy Programme rider – who finished 59th in the under 23 men’s cross-country race on Friday – had looked strong up to the crash on the technically demanding 600m course through the town centre of Saalfelden featuring narrow streets and jumps over stairs.
In qualifying, he had registered the third quickest time, 2:04.989, just 0.115 seconds slower than the fastest effort from Slovakia’s Miha Halzer with the top 32 progressing to the 1/8 finals, where riders went out in groups of four with the first two continuing to the next round.
Up against Germany’s Simon Steibjahn, Swiss rider Matthias Stirnemann and Luiz Cocuzzi, the Briton confidently led out the race in first to ensure a quarter-final spot. There he was drawn with Australian Paul van der Ploeg, Germany’s Christian Pffaffle and Simon Steibjahn.
Sat in second behind Van der Ploeg, Gallagher looked good for a semi-final place before his plummet and the disappointment was clear to see as his championships came to an end.
Earlier Great Britain’s Annie Last did not start the women’s event. It was decided that the 22-year-old, who had been suffering with an illness throughout the week as revealed to British Cycling by coach Phil Dixon, was to be rested allowing her to fully recover.
She had competed in the women’s under 23 cross-country race, finishing fifth, an accomplishment which Dixon described as courageous.
Sweden’s Alexandra Engen went onto win the eliminator title.