On the upcoming Pentecost weekend, the time has come: For the third time after 2001 and 2008, Europe's best mountain bikers will determine their champions in St. Wendel. On the traditional circuit with start and finish in the stadium, top-class athletes such as multiple world champions and Olympic champions Sabine Spitz, Julien Absalon and José Hermida will fight for medals. In recent years, mountain bike sport has focused more and more on Europe, so that the world's best athletes also come from Europe and will all be at the start in St. Wendel. “We are certain that we can present top-class sport at its best in St. Wendel”, Mayor Klaus Bouillon is looking forward to the title fights with great anticipation. The championships, which begin on June 5th with the Eliminator Sprint, a men's and women's elimination run, will be decided in a total of eight categories.
The top favorite in the men's cross country race is Julien Absalon, who celebrated his 29th World Cup victory in Albstadt last weekend and is in top form. "I want to use that in St. Wendel and hope for another European Championship medal", says the Frenchman, spoiled by success, who has already arrived in St. Wendel and is training on the track. The two top German riders, Moritz Milatz, European Champion of 2012, and Manuel Fumic are hot medal contenders. Both were able to achieve top rankings this spring and are looking forward to the home European Championships in St. Wendel.
Sabine Spitz, the exceptional athlete in German mountain biking, has ambitions for the title. "I won my first international medal in St. Wendel", says Spitz, who won silver in St. Wendel in 2001 and won a total of eight European Championship medals. "I'm always happy to come back here and I'll hopefully finish on the podium", says the Olympic champion from Beijing, who will arrive on Thursday and is fully focused on the cross-country race on Sunday. Her toughest competitors are seven-time European and five-time World Champion Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa from Norway and Pauline Prevot-Ferrand from France, who recently won in Albstadt.
From Julian Absalon from France to Moritz Zoister from Austria, the entry list for the MTB European Championships is closed: 570 athletes from 28 nations have registered and will start in eight different disciplines from June 5th to 8th. Most athletes come from Switzerland. The Federation of German Cyclists will come to St. Wendel with 40 bikers. “We have medal chances in all categories”, national coach Peter Schaupp is confident.
The German squad for the XC European Championship
Elite men: Moritz Milatz (Freiburg/BMC), Manuel Fumic (Stuttgart/Cannondale), Simon Stiebjahn (Titisee-Neustadt/Red Bulls), Markus Schulte-Lünzum (Haltern/Focus), Wolfram Kurschat (Neustadt-Weinstrasse/Team Topeak), Martin Gluth (Freiburg/EBE Racing Team)
elite women: Adelheid Morath (Freiburg/ Sabine-Spitz-Haibike ProTeam), Hanna Klein (Freiburg/Rothaus-Poison-Bikes), Nina Wrobel (Freiburg/ Fujibikes-Rockets), Sabine Spitz (Murg-Niederhof/Sabine-Spitz-Haibike ProTeam)
Juniors: Luca Schwarzbauer Nürtingen/Lexware MTB Team), David Horvath (Reutlingen/Lexware MTB Team), Robin Hofmann (Lohr/Haibike WombachTeam), Tobias Eise, Maximilian Brandl (Lohr/Haibike Wombach Team), Lukas Wälde (Gutach/ LinkRadQuadrat) – Substitute: Lars Koch (Furtwangen/Lexware-MTB-Team)
juniors: Sarah Bauer (TSV Dettingen), Antonia Daubermann (Obergessertshausen), Lisa Neumüller (Kolbermoor/Team Corratec), Hannah Grobert (Remetschwiel/Focus XC Team), Clarissa Mai (Steinach/LinkRadQuadrat)
U23 women: Majlen Müller (Solingen/Team FujiBikes Rockets), Lena Putz (Röhrnbach/ SSV Mounty Altenberg), Helen Grobert (Remetschwiel/Focus XC Team)
U23 men: Georg Egger (Obergessertshausen/Lexware MTB-Team), Martin Frey (Dettingen/Team Bulls), Julian Schelb (Münstertal/Multivan-Merida), Louis Wolf (Untermünkheim/Team Cube), Ben Zwiehoff (Essen/Team Bergamont), Christian Pfäffle (Neuffen/Rothaus-Poison-Bikes), – Replacement: Aaron Beck
Women: Veronika Brüchle (Niederstaufen/Stevens MTB Racing), Lena Putz (Röhrnbach/ SSV Mounty Altenberg)
Men: Heiko Gutmann (Freiburg/Rothaus-Poison-Bikes), Andy Eyring (/Münnerstadt/Team Bergamont), Simon Stiebjahn Stiebjahn (Titisee-Neustadt/Red Bulls)