Third Rainbow jersey for Alban Lakata
von Erhard Goller
The Austrian Alban Lakata at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Singen took his third career title after an exciting sprint finish against title defender Tiago Ferreira (Por) and Daniel Geismayr (Aut).
As expected, it came up to a tactical race. Until km 60 of 98 there was nine men leading group with most of the favorites. But when title defender Ferreira and Lakata on a short climb were pushing hard, as they did more or less the whole race, the group split.
It was Mathieu van der Poel and also Daniel Geismayr, who could follow.
But vor Mathieu van der Poel the game started to become difficult at the longest climb.
He lost contact and two kilometer before the finish he was even caught by Kulhavy and Rohrbach.
But the trio sprinted only for the fourth position. The medal winner were already 2:42 minutes in the finish, celebrating their medals.
“We were surprised to loose Mathieu, even never showed himself at the front. When we were three, we did not attack anymore. We were working together, pushing hard, but were careful in the downhills”, Lakata explained.
So it came up to a sprint finish. Geismayr calls himself “no sprinter” and had no really chance, even he stayed very close. Lakata took the lead some hundred meters before the finish and took it from the front.
To celebrate both, his third world champions title and his 38th birthday. “Three times world champion, that’s a dream. Today I will celebrate hard, that’s for sure. I knew, when I am racing completely focused, I can take it”, said Lakata.
Tiago Ferreira was not unhappy to be beaten by only one second. “My plan was to go fast, because that’s the better for me. So I was trying to go full gaz and it payed off, because the group splitted”, the Portuguese told. “I am very happy about the silver medal.”
Daniel Geismayr: “Of course you think about the jersey, when it’s so close. I am not good sprinter, I knew, it will difficult to beat them in a sprint finish. But I have a medal and that was always a dream, I am happy. “