Les qualifications de Biella

The Biella Semi-Final

Sunday 19 June 2011
by Ben Swales
popularity : 4%

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The magnificent city of Biella saw the official opening of the 2011 UCI season this weekend. Last year, the Biella Bike Festival welcomed the second round of the 2010 World Cup, which was one of the highlights of the season. In 20”, Benito Ros took the reins and didn’t let them go all season. In 26”, Gilles Coustellier had continued the winning streak that had begun in Ripoll, taking the win that had, until then, always escaped his clutches. Gemma Abant took the win in the women’s competition, finally beating Swiss Karin Moor, who had stood in her way in previous years. Biella 2010 was an emotional and exciting weekend!

This year, Biella organised the most important competition on the continent, the European Championship. It all kicked off on Friday with the Elite and Junior semi-finals, and the weekend was as exciting and well-organised as last year, opening the season with a bang! While the riders rested and the spectators turned their attention from trials to the rock concerts in the town centre, the press and communication team, Newspower, were busy sending out the results of the Elite and Junior semi-finals along with photos of the riders who had taken the lead in the qualifiers. PNG - 328.1 kb

There is a full photo gallery from the first day of the competition here: 17 giugno 2011 - Semifinale Elite-Junior 20"- 26". Thanks to Mario Facchini and his team! Photos: Newspower/ Eos - Pierre Teyssot.

Elite 20":

In accordance with tradition, the 20” riders were the first to set off on the attack of the six enormous sections set out in the Piazza Vittorio Veneto. In Elite, the Spanish flag once again flew high. The Grand Master of 20” trials, Benito Ros (Koxx) laid his cards on the table from the off, completely dominating the competition. He finished his first lap with one point, zero on his second and one on his third… he seems on great form after a disappointing K-124 Days – it will be a hard job for anyone to take his winner’s jersey away from him! Behind him came a whole armada of Spanish riders. European Vice-Champion Abel Mustieles (Koxx) finished on 21, with a promising two on his final lap. Dani Comas (Monty), another bright light in Spanish and world trials, finished in third on 32 points. Hard on his heels was the impressive Ion Areitio (Koxx), Junior World Champion and K-124 Days winner, who came in with 37 points on his card. The other riders to qualify were Carles Diaz (Atomz), who is still among the best, Frenchman Théau Cortes (Ozonys), who shows that training with the Coustelliers certainly pays off, Italian Champion Paolo Patrizi (Monty) and the Flying Dutchman, Rock Koekoek (Andrei Burton Events).

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Junior 20":

It was current title-holder and German Junior Champion Raphaël Pils (Monty) who finished in the lead, followed closely by Pole Filip Mrugala and Junior Italian Champion Alessandro Bertolla. Behind them came Spaniard Bernat Seuba, Germans Kai Lorenz and Lucas Krell, Swiss rider Lucien Leiser and Sweden’s Joacim Nyman, who all qualified for the final.

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Elite 26":

The 26” riders hit the sections in the afternoon, in conditions made more difficult by the rain, which caused a few mishaps. Vincent Hermance (Koxx) was the first to qualify for the final, finishing his three laps on just two points! Current European Champion Gilles Coustellier (Koxx) and World Champion Kenny Belaey (Monty) were behind him on 11 points each (Gilles just pipped Kenny on most cleans). Giacomo Coustellier (Koxx) qualified in fourth position with a total of 20 points. One of the big surprises of the weekend came when Hungarian Champions Laszlo Hegedus (Koxx) repeated his exploit of the Biella World Cup and qualified in fifth position for the final, ahead of German Champion Hannes Hermann (Atomz). There were great performances from Belgian Vice-Champion Iciar Van den Bergh (Koxx) and Nicolas Vuillermot (TMS), who took the last two coveted final spots. The UK’s Andrei Burton just missed out on the final, finishing as he did in ninth place (with a broken ankle, we might add!) and Koxx and Tribal Rider Pierre-Charles Thomas finished in eleventh place.

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Junior 26":

Frenchman Yann Dunant (TMS), bronze medallist in the 2010 European Championship, took the win in the Junior semi-final after a well-managed and promising performance. Swiss rider David Bonzon, Spaniard Pol Tarres, Frenchmen Morgan Vassor, Clément Méot and Léo Nobile and Germans Robin Fix and Rico Baak also went through to the final.

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