UCI Urban Cycling: Jack Carthy comes up trumps again
"I won because I'm the best." Jack Carthy successfully defended his Men's Elite 26" Trials title in a thrilling final that remained in the balance right down to the wire. Thanks to the changes brought to the competition rules, the race ended up with a cat and mouse game until the very end. The Briton ended up tied on 220 points with French youngster Nicolas Vallée and Belgian veteran Kenny Belaey, pipping them to glory thanks to his perfect 60-point showings in the Chengdu and UCI sections, respectively the third and fourth legs of the course. These flawless tours de force were made all the more remarkable by the fact that Carthy started sluggishly, mustering a mere 60 points across the first two sections. Yet the holder bounced back with a bang and finished with a flourish to retain his crown. For his part, Vallée – the Juniors champion in 2016 – enhanced his burgeoning reputation by scooping the silver medal, which was no less than his consistency deserved. As for third-placed Belaey, the veteran further added to a packed trophy cabinet that includes four Elite-level rainbow jerseys.
"This is definitely my sweetest victory, together with my first title, because I've already announced that I'll be switching to the 26" category next year." Spanish legend Abel Mustieles bowed out from the 20" class in style by winning the event for the sixth time, showcasing – yet again – his knack of shining on the biggest stage. He eased to victory with 240 points, 20 more than runner-up Dominik Oswald, of Germany, with fellow Spaniard Ion Areito a further ten points back in third spot.
"I love this course; I felt comfortable from start to finish." Besides a momentary lapse at the second obstacle, which resulted in her claiming just 30 points in the Chengdu section, Nina Reichenbach emphatically lived up to her billing as the world number one. Having gone to China with four victories from five Trials World Cup appearances this season, the German delivered once more. Spurred on by her teammates, who encouraged her with cries of "Das bist du!" (roughly equivalent to "You can do it!"), Reichenbach scored 50 points in each of the four remaining sections to romp home on 230, ahead of Sweden's Nadine Kåmark (200) and Spain's Irene Caminos (190) in that order.
There was Spanish and French joy in the two Juniors events. Alejandro Montalvo was triumphant in the 20" category, overcoming the challenge from France's Louis Grillon and countryman Domènec Comas. In the 26" category, French duo Nathan Charra and Noah Cardona respectively took first and third place, with Japan's Tomu Shiozaki sandwiched between them.
Following the conclusion of all six Trials events at this week's Championships, the bragging rights belong to Spain and France, who can boast two champions each, while one title apiece went to Germany and Great Britain.
On Sunday, the attention shifts to the finals of the XCE and the inaugural BMX Freestyle Park competitions.