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Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), Saturday 3 September 2022 – The first-ever race of the WES UCI E-MTB World Cup at Spa-Francorchamps was held in nice, sunny weather, despite the expectation.
The legendary motorsport venue is not new to cycling racing, as the latest Cyclo-Cross event hosted by the circuit was held here back in 2016.
The brand-new track was designed for the E-MTB debut in the Circuit’s woods to get the most out of an E-Bike and, despite looking pretty different from all previous rounds’ racetracks, with fewer uphill and downhill sectors, it was still demanding and technical, due to its characteristic rooted soil, some rocky sections and the peculiar “Eau Rouge” little river to cross.
EXPORWorld Champion, Nicole Göldi (Trek) qualified first in the Women’s field this morning, in 8:17.67 taking the Pole Position Award Powered by Raspini, along with Men’s World Champ, Frenchman Jérôme Gilloux (Lapierre), setting his pole position time of 7:40.43.
Göldi, dominated the race from the start, feeling comfortable and much focused on taking another win. German Sofia Wiedenroth (Specialized) started in second place, followed by Vice-World Champion Justine Tonso (Lapierre) from France, and over the 7 laps, the result has not changed. The Women’s podium was then an easy prediction and the World Cup standings leader Göldi managed to widen the gap in the overall classification, as she is now ahead of Tonso by 11 points. Wiedenroth made her comeback on the second step of the podium, after Race 1 at the Bologna Round and Tonso had to make do with the third place.
The Men’s starting grid saw Gilloux along with Dutchmen Kjell van den Boogert (American Eagle) and Jeroen van Eck (Ghost), the Spaniard Ismael Esteban (BH) and Honduran Milton Ramos (Rockrider). World Cup runner up Joris Ryf (Bergstrom) from Switzerland broke his chain in the Qualirace and was forced to start from the last line on the grid, along with Rob Meeuwessen(Specialized), who broke his rear wheel.
Van den Boogert took the lead, overtaking Gilloux after the Holeshot, but then he suffered some technical problems and was forced to leave the race (DNF) on lap 1. Ryf had an impressive pace and managed to get himself in second position on lap 2 and maintained it for the entire race distance. Esteban was right behind in third, ahead of van Eck and Ramos. The top-5 finished their race in this position, and the overall standings still see Gilloux on top, Ryf in second, and today’s missing Noël in third.
Local hero Jordan Warnotte (Specialized) finished 8th and looks forward to race 2 tomorrow.
For further information: https://www.spa-francorchamps.be