UCI Mountain Bike World Cup
Cross Country Eliminator Round 5
12 September 2013
Report: Eddie Allen
British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme rider Kenta Gallagher reached the semi finals of round five of the UCI Mountain Bike Cross Country Eliminator in Hajfell, Norway, almost making the final after closing in on World Cup winner Daniel Federspiel in the finish straight.
The Great Britain rider lay in fifth in the world cup coming into the round and qualified strongly, finishing seventh and slotting into the 6th heat of the 1/8th final, avoiding an early encounter with the on form Federspiel.
Gallagher comfortably won his 1/8 final, tucking into third position up the long first climb before showing his class over the jumps and through the technical latter half of the course.
The man from Inverness continued his form in the quarter finals, moving up to second place on the opening climb behind the canny German Simon Gegenheimer and turning on the style through the 4X section to make second place safe and cruise into the semis.
Come the semis and Gallagher lost touch with Federspiel and Gegenheimer on the first climb and looked down and out. However, the British rider came back strong through the woods and closed to Federspiel’s wheel on the final steep descent. Gallagher was on terms with the Austrian entering the final straight but clashed shoulders and lost momentum, finishing third and exiting the competition.
As he crossed the finish line, Gallagher sportingly apologised to Federspeil, who, by the semis, had already gained enough points to claim the World Cup championship.