UCI Urban Cycling: Hat trick for France
The inaugural UCI Urban Cycling taking place in Chengdu (China) for trials, Eliminator and BMX Freestyle Park, began with the trials teams’ event. France won the title for the third consecutive year, with Germany and Switzerland joining them on the podium.
Nobody could match the performance of the French team in Chengdu’s Xinhua Park on the first day of competition at the inaugural UCI Urban Cycling. The competition took place in front of Chinese spectators who turned out in large numbers to watch the cream of the trials discipline compete in the national teams’ event.
Contrary to last year in Val di Sole (Italy) where France won by the smallest of margins (10 points), this time the French team (Vincent Hermance, Alex Rudeau, Louis Grillon, Noah Cardona and Manon Basseville) finished with 620 points, 70 points ahead of Germany (2nd) and Switzerland (3rd).
The second and third nations both finished with 550 points, but Germany marked 40 points on five occasions, and Switzerland only three times.
Silver medallists last year, Spain disappointed with their fourth place. The reigning Elite 20” UCI World Champion Abel Mustieles only managed 40 points, despite a magnificent performance from Sergi Llongueras, the only competitor to clock up 180 points.
This year, the teams had to race against the clock, thanks to a new rule requiring them to win a maximum number of points in the two minutes allowed for the five sections.
Out of the nine nations competing in the teams’ event, only France, Germany and Switzerland had five competitors. After four riders, the French had already taken a solid lead, thanks to a solid performance by Vincent Hermance (170 points). Their final participant, Junior rider Noah Cardona, only needed 80 points to ensure his country would grace the highest step of the podium.
The French national anthem rang out in Chengdu thanks to the regularity of their team throughout the sections. They clocked up 130 points on the fourth obstacle (UCI logs) and 120 points in the last section (Finish logs), whereas their rivals faded towards the end.
Trials competitions continue Wednesday and Thursday with the Women’s, Junior’s and Elite Men’s semi-finals. The five individual titles will be awarded on Saturday.