2015 UCI Trials World Cup: surprises in Albertville
One week out from the UCI World Championships, the third and second to last round of the UCI Trials World Cup gave way to an unexpected scenario in Albertville, France. Gilles Coustellier got the better of the favourite Jack Carthy in the Elite 26” category. Abel Mustieles took the 20” category by the skin of his teeth from fellow Spanish athlete Benito Ros. The only athlete to live up to expectations on Sunday was Tatiana Janickova, in the Women’s category.
Men 26”: Coustellier threatens Carthy
Great Britain’s Jack Carthy showed he was not a natural when it comes to water. First in the semi-finals, the big name in Trials did not manage to overcome the difficulties he encountered in the Finals in Albertville’s town square. He finished “only” second, with 8 points. Disappointed, the winner of the 2014 UCI Trials World Cup said he had been “handicapped by the rain. I slipped a lot.”
The unpredictable sky did nothing to deter Gilles Coustellier, as happy as anything to win in front of his public with 4 points. “For me, the main thing was to have a good competition, to gain confidence before the UCI Trials World Championships after a difficult early season. I’ve have finally won.” Behind him, fellow French athlete Vincent Hermance finished third with 8 points.
The overall UCI Trials World Cup standings remain unchanged. Carthy is still in the lead with 560 points to Hermance’s 440 points and Coustellier’s 424 points.
Men’s 20”: Mustieles takes off
Benito Ros, an unexpected absence from the finals after his elimination in the semi-final was right with his prediction: his fellow Spanish competitor, 2nd in the UCI Trials World Cup standings before the competition was indeed “the big favourite of the day.” Despite several faults, he was the most skilled over the five sections, totalling 8 points. “Happy to win” this perfectionist however regretted that he had “not done better on certain obstacles, the course was so magnificent.”
Behind him, a new generation of Trials specialists came to the fore. The Austrian Thomas Pechhacker, 20, made his first UCI Trials World Cup podium (2nd, 10 points) as did Sweden’s Joacim Nymann (3rd, 14 points.)
With his victory in the 3rd round, Abel Mustieles takes the lead of the UCI standings with 444 points in front of Benito Ros (379 points) and Jacim Nymann (334 points).
Women: Janickova on top
Tatiana Janickova is definitely “the” Queen of world Trials. Experienced and surprisingly at ease, the Slovak left her rivals with no chance. In difficulty in Austria, the reigning UCI Trials World Champion felt “under no particular pressure” after finishing in the lead of the semi-finals on Saturday.
After a near no-fault performance, she claimed victory with two points in front of Australia’s Janine Jungfels (3 points) and Germany’s Nina Reichenbach (7 points). “I am very happy,” she said at the end of a competition. “Although the courses were not easy and I was worried about the rain. Finally, the weather stayed calm and I won.... everything finished well.”
The more than favourite for the overall ranking, Janickova will attack the last part of of the season in the lead of the UCI World Cup (493 points) in front of Germany’s Nina Reichenbach (343 points) and Slovakia’s Krystyna Sykorova (343 points).
The best Trials specialists will meet again in Andorra for the 2015 UCI Trials World Championships from August 31 to September 6. The final round of the UCI Trials World Cup will take place in Anvers, Belgium, on September 26 and 27.