Colombo’s Silver medal haul at the European U23 Mountain Bike Championships29. July 2018 — Melanie Leveau — MTB Team
As the UEC Mountain Bike Championships draw to a close after four days of hard-fought racing in Graz-Stattegg, Austria, BMC MTB Racing Team’s Filippo Colombo heads back to Switzerland with no fewer than two silver medals in his suitcase.
Justifying their claim of being one of Europe’s mountain biking epicentres, the race organisers in Graz-Stattegg had built a brand new stretch of XCO trail for this year’s European Championships, claiming that their hand-building approach lends itself to beautiful trails rather than trail motorways. After properly getting to grips with the tight turns and steep ramps on the circuit during the week, recently crowned Swiss National U23 Champion Filippo expressed agreement: “The circuit is incredibly hard, with really steep climbs and technical descents. But on the whole I really like it!”
Claiming the first silver for Switzerland in the mixed team relay on Thursday alongside teammates Sina Frei, Alessandra Keller, Alexander Balmer and Joris Ryf meant that Colombo entered Sunday’s individual XCO with a bolster to his confidence. The relay saw each rider complete one lap of the hilly 4.2km course, leaving Colombo to chase down the Italian team on the final stage, eventually narrowing the gap to just 12 seconds. “It was great to get a team medal,” he said afterwards, adding that: “Personally I’m really pleased because I clocked a fast lap time and felt good, which means I can go into Sunday’s main race with confidence.”
That’s exactly what the Ticino-based Colombo did, as he went out with a clear objective, settling into the lead on the first lap with a small group. However, as France’s Joshua Dubau generated a significant gap on the second lap, the race was on for the rest of the podium. Well equipped with the BMC Fourstroke on the challenging course, Colombo stayed in contention throughout the entirety of the five laps, demonstrating a fine display of endurance to come through strongly on the final lap and clock one of the day’s best times. “I felt great throughout the race and rode at my own pace. Dubau was just too strong today and I couldn’t follow him. I rode most of the race contesting with the third and fourth-placed finishers, who I managed to get a gap on in the final lap. Two silver medals is definitely a good haul!”
- Joshua Dubau FRA 1:25:23
- Filippo Colombo SUI 1:25:42
- Milan Vader NED 1:26:06
- Italy 1:23:18
- Switzerland 1:23:32
- Denmark 1:24:03
Full results here.
Photos: EGO Promotion