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Gold and Silver for Eva at the European Championships


Gold and Silver for Eva at the European Championships

The European Championships, which took place from 20 to 23 June 2013
in the Swiss capital Bern, were certainly the highlight in the first half of
the MTB season for many Athletes. Eva, Nathalie and Andrea were also
looking forward to this Event, since Eva was defending the Team relay
title, and the other two were burning to race for good results on home
The first Event on the program was
the Team relay Event on Thursday
night, with start and finish at the
Bundesplatz, Bern. Next to Eva,
there were Marco Aurelio Fontana,
Gioele Bertolini and Gerhard
Kerschbaumer riding for the
London 2012 bronze medal winner, Marco Aurelio, started first and
handed over successfully in first position to the Junior rider Gioele, who
than lost two places, handing over to Eva in third position. Eva was able
to pass Nadine Rieder from Germany, and Gerhard’s task was than to
catch up with French Elite Women’s rider Julie Bresset, which he
successfully completed. The Azzurri finally crossed the finish line 18
seconds ahead of Team Switzerland and 30 seconds ahead of the Team
from the Czech Republic.
Nathalie’s first mission was the Eliminator
Event. In Qualifications she recorded the
6th best time and met her Swiss team
mate Ramona Forchini, Marta Tereshchuk
from Ukraine and Elvira Khairullina from
Russia in the Quarter Finals. Unfortunately,
Khairullina prevented Nathalie several
times from passing her in the finish sprint,
and Nathalie was therefore eliminated. The
medals went to Jenny Riisveds (SWE),
Kathrin Stirnemann (SUI) and Ramona
Forchini (SUI).
The thought of European Championships on home soil had made Andrea a
bit nervous. Even though she had already won the U23 World Cup in Nove
Mesto, Czech Republic, it was still her first year riding in the Under 23
category, and therefore she decided not to put her expectations too high.
It has been her Swiss teammate Jolanda Neff, usually participating in the
Elite category, who took off from the start. Andrea had been a few riders
behind, but crashed in the first lap, and rode thereafter in 5th place. Joint
by Helen Grobert from Germany, she was riding in this position
throughout most of the race. Towards the end, Grobert took off and even
overtook Neff, who had fallen back to third position by that time. In the
lead was Yana Belomoyna from Ukraine, who was followed by Jenny
Riisveds from Sweden.
Andrea, finishing in 5th place was content with her race. “I am happy with
my 5th place today. I gave everything I had. The atmosphere is great
here in Bern. Thanks to all the spectators for supporting me”.
After having successfully defended the Team relay title on Thursday night,
Eva also competed in the Cross-Country competition. It had rained in the
morning and the course had become slippery for certain parts.
Eva started very fast and was in the lead after the start lap. Up front she
was riding with Tanja Zakelj from Slovenia, Katerina Nash from Czech
Republic, and Switzerland’s Kathrin Stirnemann. Arriving at the triple
jump in lap 1, Eva had been just behind Zakelj, who when entering the
triple jump had slip away on the wet wood. Eva was therefore forced to
turn around and take the longer chicken line, which meant that a couple
of riders had passed her in the meantime.
Fighting back and passing the rest of the field again, Eva gave her best to
close the gap to Zakelj who had taken the initiative in lap 3 and then
never looked back from there. Unfortunately, Zakelj was already over 15
seconds ahead in lap 4 and it was impossible for Eva to catch up with her.
Eva finally passed the finish line 38 seconds behind Zakelj, and almost a
minute ahead of Maja Wloszowska from Poland, who had made her way
up to third position.
Eva stated happily: “Already this morning I have been feeling good, and I
had no major problems throughout the race. I am really happy with the
Silver medal. Today’s Silver certainly counts to one of my biggest
successes - next to Bronze at the World Championships in 2011 and
Bronze at the European Championships in 2009.“
Throughout the competition on home soil, Nathalie was greatly supported
by her Fan club and the spectators, of which numerous were making their
way up to the Gurten. She did a great race, was riding in the Top 10 for
most the race, and finally finished in 11th position.

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