HERO FOR THE DAY, ROBERT MENNEN
The MTB season is underway in Germany. Robert Mennen surprises with an awesome start, Alban Lakata rode his own race, and Kalentieva crashes.
The 25 year old racer Robert Mennen played his cards perfectly just one week before the first UCI XC World Cup. The consequence, a superb race and great form. At the same event, Alban Lakata delivered a great performance, finishing 12th in a discipline that isn’t his speciality. For Irina, things weren’t as good, as she crashed and had to drop out.
The season kick off started as usual with the Bundesliga (national series) race in Muesingen, Germany. It is a race known for snow and rain, but this year was on good behaviour and the weather was favourable. The Elite men race saw Robert Mennen surprising everyone, including himself and the thousands of spectators as following at the end of the first lap he was between the World Champion and the Olympic Champion. As the race continued he continued riding ‘up front’, until in the closing stages he had to let them slip away. He finished 9th “It is one week before the World Cup and I have my best ever form. It was a very tactical race and I am massively pleased to have finished ninth in such a great field.” Mennen revealed.
Alban Lakata, Austrian born, started his season a while ago with the Cape Epic. This was his first cross country race, and the fast start saw him drop a few positions. The following lap he fought his way forward, but then eventually ran out of laps to do anything. “It was a shame that the laps weren’t longer, and there wasn’t more of them! I would have been able to reel people in!”, Lakata said following the event.
The World Champion Irina Kalentieva got off to a good start, clearly feeling comfortable on her brand new Rotwild bike. The third lap however was decisive, as she hit a rock at the start / finish line, crashing and seriously winding herself. It was enough for her to decide to drop out of the race, deciding that the World Cup next weekend is far more important. “It will take a couple of days for the bruising to stop hurting, but as for Dalby Forest, it will be great. I am looking forward to it.”